Aleppo (Reuters) – Thirteen people were killed when a residential building collapsed in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on Sunday and rescue workers were searching for people believed still buried under the rubble, state media said.
The five-storey building in the Sheikh Maksoud district of Syria’s second largest city collapsed due to water leakages that weakened its foundation, government officials were quoted as saying by state media.
It is one of many buildings to collapse in recent years in Aleppo, which bore the brunt of intensive Russian and Syrian aerial bombing of areas under rebel control until rebels were driven out six years ago.
Many displaced Syrians have been moved during the more than decade long conflict to damaged buildings as there has been no systematic reconstruction of residential areas and state services remain minimal, residents say.
The opposition has accused President Bashar al-Assad of withholding services from districts where the rebellion against him flared, in order to punish residents.
Work to renovate war-damaged buildings is in many cases done and paid for by local people, residents say.
The government blames the slow recovery and hardship on the war and Western sanctions. It has denied treating recaptured areas differently to ones that remained under its control throughout the war and has said it works to restore normal services to all areas.