(dpa) - At least five people were believed to be missing after a six-storey apartment building collapsed early Wednesday in the western Norwegian city of Alesund, triggering a rescue operation, authorities and media reports said.
About 20 people were believed to have been in the building and 15 were ferried to hospital with minor injuries, police and hospital spokesmen said.
The ground floor of the building was badly damaged and made search and rescue efforts dangerous. In addition, smoke from a fire hampered search efforts.
The building was built on the slope of a mountain, and there was speculation that a landslide might have caused the collapse.
Survivors said the lower sections of the building had been pushed several metres forward by the landslide.
Many of the people in the building were able to leave the site on their own, but others were aided by rescue workers, Norwegian broadcaster NRK reported.
The area near the building has been cordoned off over fears of a gas explosion, and nearby buildings were also evacuated.
Some of the survivors said the collapse felt like an earthquake, NRK said.