French rescuers find body in ruins of collapsed buildings


France’s interior minister arrived in Marseille Tuesday at the site where two buildings collapsed into rubble, killing at least one man.

The southern city’s fire brigade confirmed on its Twitter feed Tuesday the discovery of a man’s body in the ruins. Officials warned up to eight people are still unaccounted for in the incident, which took place Monday morning.

Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said “air pockets” under the debris meant there’s “hope to locate and find someone that can be saved.”

Castaner said 120 police officers and 80 firefighters took part in the rescue effort, working through the night in the pile of beams and rubble.

The two buildings, one apparently vacant and the other housing apartments, collapsed Monday at 9 a.m. local time. Authorities said the vacant building had been deemed substandard. It was not immediately clear why they collapsed, or how many people the apartment building housed.

Fire crews working with sniffer dogs later brought down the remains of a third building they feared could topple over on them.

Images of the buildings before they collapsed showed that one had five floors and the other six. In the spot where they had stood, a large gap appeared once the dust and debris settled.

Cars around Marseille’s famous Old Port on the Mediterranean Sea, were covered with thick dust.

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