Body found in rubble of collapsed building in Marseille

Two buildings collapsed

Two buildings containing apartments at numbers 63 and 65 Rue de l'Aubagne suddenly collapsed in the rundown Noailles district of the Mediterranean port on Monday morning.

Three bodies have been pulled out of the rubble of several buildings that collapsed on Monday in the French city of Marseille, according to fire officials.

Arriving at the site Tuesday, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said "air pockets" under the debris meant there's "hope to locate and find someone that can be saved".

A Marseille fire brigade spokesman told CNN the cause of the collapse of the five-and six story buildings is not yet known. The building had been the subject of an appraisal and work in October.

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.

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 fix.

Residents accompanied by police and firefighters recover their belongings from the collapsed buildings.

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A completely flattened auto was dug out, an indication of the force with which the building came crashing down in what witnesses said was a matter of seconds. One house had 5 floors, the other 6.

"It's been 10 years that I've been living here and I've never had anyone come and inspect my apartment", another local resident called Sophie told AFP.

"The most important is saving lives", Castaner said at the scene.

The buildings were in a small shopping street in the centre of the city.

"It's the homes of the poor that are falling down, and that's not a coincidence", said local lawmaker Jean-Luc Melenchon, leader of the leftwing France Unbowed party.

But a 2015 government report said some 100,000 Marseille residents were living in housing that was unsafe to their health or security.

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