Hundreds evacuated after building collapses in centre of Toulouse

Concerns mount over state of other historical structures in city

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The collapse of a building in the historical centre of Toulouse on Friday (March 8) has forced hundreds to be evacuated amid concerns about the state of neighbouring buildings.

Two weeks ago, residents on rue Saint-Rome in Toulouse alerted the mairie that cracks were appearing in a three-storey, 15th Century building. Following a brief inspection, the mairie ordered the building’s evacuation and started emergency work to prop the building up.

It collapsed on Friday night. No injuries were reported, however 200 people have had to be evacuated from the surrounding streets.

Since the collapse, over 65 trucks have been loaded with rubble as the remains are demolished.

”The building on rue Saint-Rome was an enormous and imposing structure,” said Toulouse mayor Jean-Luc Moudenc. “Its collapse created a shockwave that resulted in further damage. In old Toulouse all the buildings interlock with one another”.

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This latest incident is by far the most catastrophic in a series of “partial collapses” that the mairie has identified since 2020. Fortunately, so far there have been no victims.

“We can only act when problems are raised,” said Mr Moudenc, “however the responsibility for these buildings falls on their owners and building managers.”

“In total, there are around 30 buildings in Toulouse that we have had to ban all access to, some of which are truly ancient, but reparations just aren't happening since the owners don't have the means.”

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