Alexandria building collapse kills 15

Residential apartment block collapses during early hours of the morning

Residents shift through the rubble to find survivors of the collapsed apartment block.

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An apartment block in the Egyptian city of Alexandria collapsed on Wednesday, killing at least 15 people, the country’s state news agency has reported.

The eight storey building in a working class neighbourhood collapsed at around 7AM in the morning, residents said. They added that more than 30 people resided in the apartments.

Officials said that the number of fatalities was likely to rise as bodies are identified and rubble cleared. Rescue workers used mechanical diggers and even bare hands to shift through the site, though hopes for survivors are fading.

Collapsing buildings are a common problem in the North African country, with poor building standards and insufficient maintenance creating dangerous living conditions, especially in poorer neighbourhoods.

An unidentified engineer told the BBC that more than 500 buildings in Alexandria alone that need to be pulled down because they do not meet health and safety standards. Furthermore, a number of buildings are built illegally as the country struggles with a growing urban population.

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