At least 3 dead in building collapse in Egypt’s coastal city of Alexandria, officials say


Cairo (AP) — At least 3 people were killed when a 14-story apartment building collapsed in Egypt’s northern coastal city of Alexandria, authorities said Tuesday.

The high-rise in the Mediterranean city’s neighborhood of Muntazah collapsed early on Monday and initial reports said eight people were missing beneath the rubble.

On Tuesday, the city authorities confirmed that three bodies had been pulled out but did not say if anyone was still missing. Two people were reported injured in the collapse but have since been discharged from hospital.

It was also not immediately known what caused the collapse but such incidents are common in Egypt, where shoddy construction is widespread in shantytowns, poor city neighborhoods and rural areas.

The city’s governor, Mohamed Al-Sharif, said search efforts at the site were underway and that an investigation into the cause of the collapse was launched.

Some 16 families lived in the building as full-time residents while the rest of the apartments were being rented out to beachgoers that come to Alexandria for a break during the scorching summer months.

With real estate at a premium in big cities like Alexandria and Cairo, developers seeking bigger profits frequently violate planning permits and extra floors are often added to buildings without permission.

In February six people were killed in the Nile Delta city of Damanhour after cooking gas cylinders exploded in the basement of a four-story building, collapsing the entire structure.

Egyptian authorities have in recent years launched a crackdown on illegal construction and in many places, moved residents from unsafe houses and shantytowns to newly built cities.

Violators of building permits have also been jailed and in many cases, illegally built buildings have been destroyed.

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