Cairo, 5 Rabiul Awwal 1434/17 January 2013 (MINA) – At least 17 people were killed and eight injured on Wednesday when a 12-story building collapsed in the Egyptian coastal city of Alexandria, a security official said, acccording to a report from arabnews quoted by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA).
Eight other people were injured and rescue teams continued to search for survivors under the rubble, said assistant interior minister Abdel – Aziz Tawfeeq. Military police from a nearby naval base formed a security ring around the site to the rescue operation.
It was not immediately known what caused the building to collapse in a poor district of Alexandria, but violations of building specifications have been blamed for similar accidents in the past.
The governor of Alexandria, Mohammed Abbas Atta, told Egypt’s official news agency that the building was constructed without a permit.
Abul Ezz el-Hariri, an opposition lawmaker from Alexandria, warned that hundreds of buildings in the city face the same fate.
Emergency services rescued 10 people after the building housing 24 families in the Maamura district of Alexandria collapsed in the early hours, a security official said earlier.
“A mother and her child were killed and eight others injured when the building collapsed,” the official said.
Egypt has seen a number of construction disasters over the years, many of them blamed on planning violations or bad maintenance.
On Tuesday, 19 people died and over 100 injured when a train carrying military conscripts derailed southwest of Cairo.
According to media reports, it is the fifth deadly train accident since Mursi was sworn in as Egypt’s first Islamist president in June.
The railway network’s poor safety record stems largely from lack of maintenance and decades of poor management. In Egypt’s deadliest railway tragedy, the bodies of more than 360 passengers were recovered from a train after a fire in 2002.
Egyptians have long complained that the government has failed to deal with the country’s transport problems, with roads as poorly maintained as railway lines. (T/R-020/R-006)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)