Three days after the fatal collapse of two houses, a seventh corpse has been found in the rubble. The media reported yesterday, citing the mayor of the southern French port, Jean-Claude Gaudin. At times the search for buried victims had been interrupted. First, two collapse-prone neighboring houses had to be demolished, said the mayor in the morning.
The demolition was necessary to ensure public safety and eventually continue with the search for further victims. Rescue workers finally got back to work later in the day. „We think there is at least one other person under the rubble,“ said Gaugin to the station BFMTV in the evening.
Mayor resists allegations
Gaudin had defended himself in the morning at a press conference against allegations that the housing policy of the city had contributed to the disaster. The city has been fighting unworthy living for years and renovating old homes to improve the living conditions in the city, said the mayor. Especially in the city center of Marseille, the houses are very old – and often in private ownership. Public action must be facilitated if such buildings are in poor condition, he demanded.
After the disaster, fierce criticism of residents and associations in the city had stirred up. They criticized public inactivity. Many homes in the affected district of Noailles are in a worrying condition. The city had called heavy rain on Monday as a possible cause of the collapse.
The houses collapsed on Monday morning in a narrow street in the center of the port city. One of them was empty because it was dilapidated. The other building, which was only inspected in October, was inhabited but also ailing. In total, eight people were suspected in one of the houses.