At least three dead after buildings collapse in Marseille

At least three dead after buildings collapse in Marseille

A fifth body has been found in the rubble of two dilapidated buildings that collapsed in the centre of Marseille earlier this week.

The buildings collapsed on Monday morning, and emergency services have been combing through the rubble.

There are between five to eight people missing, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said late Monday, with authorities trying to trace five residents and three other people who had been invited to the buildings.

Castaner told lawmakers in Paris on Tuesday that he had ordered a building-by-building audit before an "ambitious programme for ensuring safe conditions" along with Marseille authorities.

"People died for nothing, even though we knew".

"It's been 10 years that I've been living here and I've never had anyone come and inspect my apartment", another local resident called Sophie told AFP.

Images of the buildings before they collapsed, visible on Google Street View, showed that one of the buildings was clearly in poor fix, with boarded-up windows and large visible cracks on the facade before it collapsed.

The first victim - a man who had yet to be identified - was pulled from the wreckage Tuesday, said prosecutor Xavier Tarabeux.

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

The two other apartment blocks, which were in such a bad state that they had been condemned, were boarded up and in theory unoccupied.

"She was a great girl, she used to come and study at the bar", he said, without giving his name.

"It could have been me", she added, visibly shaken.

One of the buildings was apparently vacant and the other housed apartments.

However, according to neighbors, it is at the time of the tragedy could be people, particularly the homeless.

Djaffar Nour, who was shopping down the street, said the collapse had happened in "a matter of seconds".