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France: Buildings Collapse In Marseille; Avalanche Shakes French Alps

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An explosion in the early hours of Sunday, 9th April, caused two buildings to collapse in the southern French city of Marseille, according to local authorities and eight people are believed to be under the rubble as they have not responded to calls.

Marseille prosecutor Dominique Laurens said during a press conference that the fall resulted in a fire that hindered rescue operations and investigations and which hasn’t been put out. She could not tell the exact cause of the explosion, when asked. However, he said that no structural issues with the buildings were known any time before.

Five people who were seriously injured were taken to hospital.

Video footages of the incident revealed thick and broad smoke coming out from the rubble as fire fighters attempted to bring the fire under control. The attempts also included dogs that were used to try to locate victims.

A man who called himself Roland, in an interview with local newspaper La Provence, said, “We have nothing, not even an ID card. We have lost everything.” According to him, he was able to come out of the building on 15 Rue de Tivoli along with his wife and two children before the incident.

A third building partly collapsed. According to the Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin visited the site and remarked that around 30 buildings in the vicinity were evacuated.

President Emmanuel Macron, through a tweet said, “Thoughts are with Marseille.”

Three structures deemed unfit for habitation fell in 2018, about 0.62 miles (0.13 kilometres) from the disaster, killing eight people.

4 Dead in Avalanche

Avalanche in French Alps
French Alps

Another incident occurred in southwest of Mont Blanc in the French Alps. Four people died and nine others injured in an avalanche on Sunday.

Interior minister Gerald Dermanin announced on Twitter that it happened in the middle of the day on the Armancette glacier.

Those killed in the avalanche included were skiing, informed Emmanuel Coquand, spokesperson for the local authorities of Haute-Savoie, further saying that the authorities were still finding out the identities of those caught up in the natural calamity.

Coquand said the avalanche was large, covering an area of one km by 500 metres (half a mile by 550 yards) at an altitude of 3,500 metres and also mentioned the point that the causes of avalanche are being looked into.

The glacier lies near the village and ski resort of Les Contamines-Montjoie.

On Twitter, President Emmanuel Macron stated that rescue workers were still looking for further victims and that his sympathies were with the victims and their families.

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