Casablanca buildings collapse death toll at 13

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Copy of CAS11_MOROCCO-BUILDINGS-_0712_11 REUTERS The death toll after three buildings collapsed in Morocco's largest city and commercial capital Casablanca rose to 13. Photo: Macao


Casablanca, Morocco - The death toll after three buildings collapsed in Morocco's largest city and commercial capital Casablanca rose to 13 on Sunday, officials said.

“Five bodies were recovered from the rubble,” including two children and Moroccan actress Amal Maarouf and her mother, they said, quoted by the MAP news agency.

The toll from Friday's tragedy could still increase “because there are people under the rubble”.

A previous provisional toll on Saturday spoke of eight dead and some 60 injured, with 17 still in hospital.

It was still not known why the three apartment blocks in El-Hank district collapsed.

Residents said that the accident probably resulted from “haphazard works” on the lower floors of the buildings, as well as a general lack of maintenance.

An official inquiry has begun, and the residents of three adjoining buildings have been evacuated as a precaution.

Firemen managed to rescue at least 55 people, including six children, after the apartment blocks crumpled.

King Mohamed VI, who happened to be in the city at the time, visited the scene of the disaster and the injured in hospital.

Casablanca has a population of around five million, with many living in squalid conditions in sprawling slums, some exposed to serious safety hazards.

Two people died at the end of 2012 when a building came down after bad weather.

The housing minister said at the time that between 4 000 and 7 000 buildings in Casablanca were at risk of collapse. - Sapa-AFP

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