Syria building collapse kills at least 16 in Aleppo

Child among the dead as five-storey structure subsides in Sheikh Maqsoud neighbourhood

Civil defence workers and civilians search the rubble of a collapsed building in the Sheikh Maqsoud neighbourhood of Aleppo. AP
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At least 16 people died after a five-storey building collapsed early on Sunday in the Syrian city of Aleppo.

A child is among the victims, state media outlet Sana reported.

It said the building, in the city's Sheikh Maqsoud neighbourhood, collapsed due to water leaking into its foundations.

Rescue teams are working to free around 20 people from under the rubble.

Video footage showed emergency workers and civilians searching through a huge pile of debris. Relatives gathered at the scene and at nearby hospitals to look for the missing and mourn the dead.

The building was home to five families displaced from Afrin, a town near Aleppo under the control of Turkish-backed forces, said to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Kurdish-affiliated news agencies.

A 15-year-old was pulled alive from the rubble, they added.

The Sheikh Maqsoud neighbourhood is said to be a largely Kurdish area controlled by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces.

Several children died earlier this month due to a government siege on the area, preventing medicine and fuel from entering the neighbourhood, Kurdish outlets reported.

Much of Aleppo was destroyed or badly damaged during the civil war, which began in 2011.

It is Syria's largest city and was once the country's commercial centre.

Most of the city is under the control of President Bashar Al Assad's forces, but some pockets are controlled by the Kurdish-led SDF.

Eleven people died in a similar incident in September, when a five-storey building collapsed in Aleppo's southern district of Fardous.

Local officials said the building had been built illegally and had weak foundations.

In February, a mother and her three children were killed in a building collapse in the northern city of Idlib.

Updated: January 23, 2023, 3:39 AM