Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Charity Begins on Twitter

Read more

THE DEBATE

Famine as a weapon of war: 20 millon lives at risk in Africa, Yemen (part 1)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Famine as a weapon of war: 20 millon lives at risk in Africa, Yemen (part 2)

Read more

FOCUS

Video: Putin building bridge from annexed Crimea to mainland Russia

Read more

ACCESS ASIA

South Korea: K-pop girl band encourage plastic surgery

Read more

ENCORE!

Karl Ove Knausgaard: The Master of the literary selfie

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Brazil's meat industry gets grilling from EU

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Attacks on aid workers threaten humanitarian operations in South Sudan

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'The Russian protest movement reawakens'

Read more

Europe

Three killed in French building collapse

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-04-29

At least three people were killed and 14 others injured after part of a four-storey residential building collapsed in the northeastern French city of Reims on Sunday. Local authorities said the accident was likely caused by a gas explosion.

At least three people were killed and 14 others left injured in the centre of France’s northeastern city of Reims on Sunday morning after a large apartment block collapsed following a likely gas explosion.

Firefighters called to the scene searched for victims trapped in the rubble of the council estate building, where around 10 apartments were believed to have been destroyed in the collapse.

Local authorities said the "probable" cause of the accident at the four-storey structure in the heart of the Champagne region was a gas explosion..

Following the accident, the Elysée issued a statement calling the collapse a “terrible tragedy,” and extending President François Hollande’s condolences to the victims’ families.

An AFP photographer at the scene – citing rescue workers – said many firefighters were still looking for victims buried under the wreckage. The residential building, which was constructed during the 1960s, had last been renovated several years ago.

The incident in Reims is the second such accident to occur in the region over the past month. At the beginning of April, four people from the same family were killed and another person was seriously injured when a gas explosion devastated their apartment in Witry-les-Reims, not far from the scene of Sunday's accident.

The tragedy shocked the neighbourhood, particularly as the father had still been alive when firefighters arrived, talking to them for over two hours to try to help them locate his wife and child, before dying in the ambulance.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

Date created : 2013-04-28

COMMENT(S)