Death toll up to 5 in Marseille building collapse

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Two buildings containing apartments at numbers 63 and 65 Rue de l'Aubagne suddenly collapsed in the rundown Noailles district of the Mediterranean port on Monday morning.

A third body, that of a man, was discovered Tuesday in the rubble of the dilapidated buildings that collapsed on Monday in the centre of Marseille, announced the public prosecutor Xavier Tarabeux to the AFP.

"The searchers have found some survival pockets so there is perhaps hope there may be people still alive", French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said, according to The Guardian.

Authorities said they were looking into what caused the collapse of the buildings, described by residents of the area as dilapidated and in need of fix.

French rescue workers are seen near rubble after buildings collapsed in central Marseille, France on November 5, 2018.

The first two buildings, adjacent five- and six-story structures, collapsed Monday at 9:10 a.m.

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A completely flattened auto was dug out as rescuers worked to shift the rubble, an indication of the force with which the building came crashing down in what witnesses said was a matter of seconds. It was not immediately clear why they collapsed, or how many people the apartment building housed.

Google Street View images from July show that building with boarded-up windows and damage to the facade.

A young bar waiter, with tears in his eyes, watched the scene and anxious about an Italian woman who lived in the building.

The neighbourhood is home to many buildings in a similarly dilapidated condition, some of them run by slum landlords.

Previously, the government said that under the debris may be from five to eight people. "It is the houses of poor people that collapse - and that is no coincidence", he was quoted as saying by local media.

But a 2015 government report said about 100,000 Marseille residents were living in housing that was risky to their health or security.

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