A firetruck extends a ladder at the scene of a collapsed building in Marseille, southern France, on April 10, 2023. (PHOTO / AFP)
PARIS – French rescue workers have found a sixth body in the rubble of buildings in the southern city of Marseille that collapsed following an explosion, a spokesperson for the police said on Monday.
Authorities had said earlier that they had identified eight people missing following Sunday's explosion, which destroyed two residential buildings and caused a third to partially collapse. The cause of the blast is still unknown.
The rescue operations were continuing with "care and determination" and 40 buildings near the site have been evacuated, said housing minister Olivier Klein
The discovery of the bodies is "gruesome, difficult and dramatic," said housing minister Olivier Klein, speaking to reporters in Marseille, adding that the government must support the victims, their families and those who have been evacuated from their homes.
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The rescue operations were continuing with "care and determination" and 40 buildings near the site have been evacuated, he added.
The collapse caused a fire which has complicated rescue efforts and which was continuing to burn on Monday.
Five people were taken to hospital on Sunday with serious but not life-threatening injuries.
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In 2018, about 1 kilometer from the site of the Marseille buildings, three other structures considered unfit for habitation collapsed killing eight people.
The mayor of Marseille said a parallel could not be drawn, while the prosecutor said the buildings that collapsed on Sunday were not known to have any structural problems, and that a gas explosion is being investigated as a possible explanation.