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Lebanon: at least 13 people died and 12 injured after a five-block collapsed in Beirut


At least 13 people died and 12 have been injured after a five-floor block collapsed in the Ashrafiyeh district of the Lebanese capital Beirut on Sunday evening.

Rescue workers in Beirut continue to search for survivors in the rubble of a collapsed building.

“We are hoping to find people alive. There are still some missing,” Health Minister Ali Hassan Khalil told Lebanese television.

It is not known yet what caused the sudden collapse.

At least 13 people died and 12 have been injured after a five-floor block collapsed in the Ashrafiyeh district of the Lebanese capital Beirut on Sunday evening

At least 13 people died and 12 have been injured after a five-floor block collapsed in the Ashrafiyeh district of the Lebanese capital Beirut on Sunday evening

Local reports are speculating that cracks in the building made worse by heavy rain may have been the cause or that the building could have been damaged by the impact of construction at several nearby sites.

Local television said seven of the dead were foreign laborers, including two from Jordan.

“It was like an earthquake” when the block collapsed, one witness told a local television channel.

One resident who escaped with her mother said the building was extremely run-down and the owner had recently warned tenants to move out, the AFP news agency reported.

Lebanese President Michel Sleiman visited the site on Sunday evening as did Interior Minister Marwan Charbel.

Minister Marwan Charbel told reporters the building’s owner was being questioned by the authorities. He added it was essential to carry out a survey of similar buildings across the country, many of which were built illegally or had several floors added without proper permits.

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