Official: Apartment building collapse in Egypt kills 6

CAIRO (AP) — At least six people were killed Sunday when an apartment building collapsed in southern Egypt, a senior official said.

Building collapses are common in Egypt, where shoddy construction and a lack of maintenance are widespread in shantytowns, poor city neighborhoods and rural areas.

Rescue teams recovered six bodies from under the rubble of a five-story building in the Qulta neighborhood of the city of Assiut, said the province’s Gov. Essam Saad. Assiut lies some 400 kilometers (250 miles) south of the capital Cairo.

The governor said in a statement that rescuers also recovered two survivors who were taken to a local hospital.

The governor added that authorities had evacuated surrounding apartment buildings, and dispatched bulldozers and other equipment to clear and secure the site.

Footage shared by the governor’s office appeared to show rescuers attempting to remove rubble and work through the building’s ruins.

By Sunday night, rescue teams were still searching for survivors using bulldozers and diggers to lift debris as security forces cordoned off the area around the building.

It was not immediately clear what caused the building to collapse. Saad, the governor, said officials would investigate the incident, and examine surrounding buildings for residents’ safety.

The collapse in Assiut came a day after the roof of a building in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria caved in, leaving two people dead and one injured.

The government has tried to crack down on illegal building in recent years after decades of lax enforcement. Authorities are also building new cities and neighborhoods to rehouse those living in at-risk areas.

But many Egyptian cities still contain entire neighborhoods of unlicensed apartment blocks and shantytowns that don’t follow building codes and regulations.

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