As many as 8 feared dead in Marseille building collapse

France24 reported early Tuesday morning that as many as eight people were feared dead after two apartment blocks collapsed in the French City of Marseille where a first body has been found.

Rescuers worked throughout the night on Monday searching for survivors in the rubble of the two buildings which collapsed suddenly on Monday morning. The tragedy occurred in Noailles, a working-class district in the heart of the city.

Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said late Monday that between five to eight people were missing — five residents and three other people who may have been visiting one of the buildings.

The second apartment block, which was in such a bad state that it had been condemned, was boarded up and in theory unoccupied, according to officials.

Carstaner added that they had found some air pockets amongst the rubble and that they may yet find survivors.

The first victim — a man who had yet to be identified — was pulled from the wreckage Tuesday, said prosecutor Xavier Tarabeux.

Google Maps images taken in recent months showed the two collapsed buildings had large visible cracks in their facades.

Marseille authorities launched a vast upgrade plan for the city centre in 2011.

But a 2015 government report said some 100,000 Marseille residents were living in housing that was dangerous to their health or security.

-Daniel Potter