An explosion that collapsed a residential constructing in France’s port city of Marseille early Sunday has rescuers racing to seek out any victims trapped beneath the particles as a hearth burns beneath the rubble.
The five-story constructing collapsed simply earlier than 1 a.m., and 6 victims have been hospitalized with accidents, Marseille Mayor Benoit Payan mentioned at a televised briefing.
“I would love us to organize for a troublesome state of affairs – we may have victims as we speak,” Payan mentioned.
Hours after the collapse in France’s second-largest metropolis, it was nonetheless unclear whether or not anybody was killed or what caused the explosion.
French Inside Minister Gerald Darmanin arrived on the scene later Sunday morning and advised reporters that between 4 and 10 individuals have been believed to be trapped beneath the rubble.
However the fireplace burning beneath the rubble complicated rescue efforts, with greater than 100 firefighters working to place out blazes beneath the large piles of particles whereas making an attempt to not hurt any doubtlessly trapped victims.
“We’re making an attempt to drown the fireplace whereas preserving the lives of eventual victims beneath the rubble,” mentioned Lionel Mathieu, commander of the Marseille fireplace brigade, including that the intense heat made it unattainable to ship in canine groups to look.
Residents have been evacuated from two neighboring buildings that partially collapsed throughout the incident. Payan mentioned one of many buildings was at risk of collapsing.
The mayor mentioned the explosion was the “possible” reason behind the constructing collapse, though he confused that an investigation would in the end decide the trigger.
The explosion might be heard all through the outdated quarter within the heart of France’s second-largest city and resounded in different neighborhoods.
Close by streets have been blocked off as rescue efforts continued.
The Related Press contributed to this report.