Casablanca building collapse kills three

August 7, 2016 | By | Reply More

Aug  07, –  At least 24 people were injured in the tragedy when a four-storey building in the Sbata district came down on Friday evening, a statement from the Casablanca municipality said earlier.

building collapseMoroccan rescuers Saturday found the body of a woman trapped under a collapsed building in Casablanca, raising the death toll to three as they searched for more victims, witnesses said.

It said two people were killed in the collapse and that search was ongoing for a missing woman.

Witnesses said a cafe on the ground floor had been teeming with customers and a doctor’s clinic was also full at the time of the tragedy.

A taxi driver who went into the cafe to use the restroom was killed, they said.

On Saturday, the body of a 13-year-old girl was retrieved from the rubble and hours later rescuers pulled out the body of the woman.

Witnesses said that authorities brought in more specialised equipment for the search operation.

Nine of the injured have now been discharged from hospital but the remainder were still receiving care, the municipality statement carried by the official MAP news agency said.

It said the injured were in a stable condition.

Authorities on Saturday arrested the building’s owner for questioning, it added.

The royal court said King Mohammed VI had expressed his condolences to the families of the victims and announced that he would pay for their funerals and for the hospital treatment of the injured.

Footage from the scene showed the building fully collapsed with what appears to be its concrete roof slanted over the rubble and at least one crushed car.

Firemen and rescue workers worked through the night, often having to drill through layers of concrete to be able to free trapped victims.

Hundreds of people thronged around the site, with some clambering on top of the rubble to try to help rescuers.

Witnesses said one woman was pulled alive from the rubble but her leg had been severed.

A local news website said the building had initially had just one floor but that the owner had obtained a permit allowing him to add another three.

The new floors were completed only six months ago, reports said.

Casablanca is home to five million people, many of whom live in hazardous accommodation, including in sprawling slums.

After a string of building accidents, the housing minister in 2012 said that between 4,000 and 7,000 buildings in the city were at risk of collapse.

Two years later 23 people were killed when three buildings collapsed, in one of the worst disasters to hit Casablanca.

Press journalist for HRO media – Ignacio Damigo reports.

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