Five dead in Egyptian building collapse

Other News Materials 24 December 2007 17:18 (UTC +04:00)

( Reuters ) - Five Egyptians were killed on Monday when a 12-storey residential building collapsed in Egypt's Mediterranean city of Alexandria, a security source said.

Rescue workers pulled the five bodies from the rubble, but authorities expect the death toll to rise as more are uncovered, according to security sources.

State news agency MENA said rescue workers had managed to unearth one survivor, a woman, from the ruins.

MENA cited Alexandria Governor Adel Labib at the scene of the collapse in eastern Alexandria as saying an operations room had been set up to coordinate rescue efforts, and local hospitals had been alerted to prepare for any more injured.

Labib said construction workers had been doing repairs on the first floor when the building suddenly tilted and collapsed, MENA said.

Streets leading to the site of the collapse had been sealed off, and the area had been cordoned off to pedestrian traffic as well, according to MENA.

The buildings on either side of the collapse had suffered structural damage and had been evacuated.

One security source said the building was home to at least 18 families, but that authorities still had no clear idea of the number of people who had actually been inside the building when it collapsed.

Building collapses are a frequent hazard in many parts of Egypt because of lax building standards and poor maintenance.