16 January 2013

Egypt: Collapse of Apartment Building in Egypt Kills 14

Cairo — An eight-story apartment building collapsed in Egypt's Mediterranean port city of Alexandria early on Wednesday, killing 14 people, police officials said.

Eight other people were injured and rescue teams continued to search for survivors under the rubble, said Assistant Interior Minister Abdel-Aziz Tawfeeq. Military police from a nearby naval base formed a security ring around the site to the rescue operation.

It was not immediately known what caused the building to collapse in a poor district of Alexandria, but violations of building specifications have been blamed for similar accidents in the past. The governor of Alexandria, Mohammed Abbas Atta, told Egypt's official news agency that the building was constructed without a permit.

Alexandria's security chief Abdel-Mawgood Lutfi said the building was constructed five years ago and had 24 apartments.

That the building collapsed early in the day means that most tenants were home, a fact that could contribute to an even higher death toll. Police evacuated residents of two adjacent buildings out of concern that the collapse may have caused structural damage to them.

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