Thirteen rescued after Baghdad building collapse

Civil Defence searching for more survivors in rubble of four-storey building in Iraqi's capital's commercial hub

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A four-storey commercial building in Baghdad collapsed on Saturday, trapping at least 13 people who were later rescued by the Civil Defence.

Search operations are under way for more survivors, the Civil Defence said in a statement.

Baghdad Municipality spokesman Mohammed Al Rubaie said an investigation has been launched into the collapse of the building in the Iraqi capital's commercial hub of Karrada.

Bystanders watch as rescuers search for survivors after a building collapse in the Iraqi capital's Karrada district on October 1, 2022. Photo: Baghdad Municipality

Buildings in Iraq often lack proper safety standards and most are constructed with building code violations due to widespread corruption and weak government monitoring.

Construction companies and contractors submit plans to local authorities that have been drawn to minimum safety standards, but then change them during construction to cut costs. The consequences of these shortcuts have been catastrophic.

In 2016, about 300 people were killed in a car bombing in the Karrada area. Most of the deaths resulted not from the blast itself, but because people could not escape a building that caught fire from the blast.

Investigators said the building had been constructed without fire escapes and was clad with highly combustible plastic.

Updated: October 01, 2022, 1:21 PM