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Building Collapses in Egypt; 24 Dead

Thursday, January 17, 2013

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At least 24 people have been killed and 11 injured after an eight-story apartment building collapsed early Wednesday (Jan. 16) in Alexandria, Egypt, reports said.

Officials rescued at least two survivors, but as many as 10 bodies remained trapped as teams continued to scour the concrete rubble Wednesday.

NBC News
NBC News

Images from Wednesday's deadly scene showed rescuers digging through the concrete rubble in seach of life.

A majority of the residents reportedly rushed to the ground floor in their attempt to escape.

Permit, Specifications Eyed

The cause of the collapse had not yet been identified Wednesday afternoon.

However, city officials confirmed that the 24-apartment building was constructed five years ago without a license, reports said.

Egypt’s Minister of Housing Tareq Wafeeq told reporters that a total of 318,000 illegal constructions went up in 23 of Egypt's 27 provinces between 2009 and 2012. He also said that the government should be held responsible.

"We need to pause and think about the reasons behind these accidents,” he told Al-Ahram Arabic News. “This is a result of long-time corruption," he said, noting that a law regulating construction sites in Egypt is currently being reviewed under the Shura Council, the country's upper level of parliament.

The Associated Press reported that “violations of building specifications have been blamed in the past for similar accidents.”

Evacuations, Arrests

When the residential building toppled in the early-morning hours, police also reportedly evacuated residents of two nearby buildings that may have sustained structural damage from the collapse.

Also, Alexandria police officials arrested two owners of the collapsed building, Al-Ahram Arabic News reported.


Tagged categories: Accidents; Design; Fatalities; Government; Health and safety; Residential Construction

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