Fifth body recovered from Marseille house collapse

Three buildings have now collapsed in the incident, which took place on Monday November 5

A fifth body has been recovered - that of a man - from the rubble of the two houses that collapsed in Marseille on Monday (November 5) morning.

The body was one of the five to eight people identified as missing immediately after the incident on the city’s Rue d’Aubagne, Marseille prosecutor Xavier Tarabeux said.

Searches continued into the night between Tuesday and Wednesday (November 6-7), with at least five people now confirmed dead.

Mr Tarabeux said: “It is very, very likely to be five people.”

The prosecutor added that three of the dead had been visiting the building.

He said that the chance of finding survivors was diminishing the longer the search continued, especially as the controlled collapse of a third building - which had been weakened by the initial disaster - had laid more rubble over the site.

The heavy rain that hit the city on Monday night and Tuesday morning had decreased the stability of the site and delayed search operations further, authorities said.

Christophe Castaner, Minister of the Interior, said: “There is very little chance of finding pockets of life [now]”.

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Searches are expected to continue for several days, with estimates saying that in some places the rubble may be up to 15 metres deep.

Emergency services are continuing to use a digger to clear the largest pieces of debris, while specially-trained dogs are being used to search for signs of life.

One of those thought dead includes a mother who did not collect her daughter from school on the day of the incident, and another woman who rarely left her apartment.

The collapse has highlighted concerns over the condition of up to 6,000 buildings in Marseille, which have been estimated to be in similarly poor repair.

Of the three buildings that collapsed, two had already been condemned and were uninhabited, but questions are being asked about why the third had not yet been renovated, repaired, or evacuated.

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