At least 11 people were killed in the Egyptian port city of Alexandria before dawn on today when a four-storey apartment block collapsed as families slept, a security official said. Eleven bodies were pulled from the rubble of the building where 35 people lived, and 10 people were injured, the official said. The recovered bodies included a woman locked in an embrace with her baby, the official MENA news agency reported, adding that the search was going on for more bodies.
The building collapsed at around 1am as most residents were sleeping, the official said. Saleh Subhi, an MP from the opposition Muslim Brotherhood who was at the scene, blamed municipal authorities for the accident. "The building was known to need renovation work," he said. Such incidents are relatively frequent in Egypt where building regulations are often flouted and additional floors are added without permission.
Last December, 35 people were killed when a 12-storey building collapsed, also in Alexandria. In 2005, the collapse of a six-storey building in the Mediterranean port city killed 19 people. Three extra storeys had been added illegally. Tougher legislation against construction companies which ignore the law was introduced in 1996 after a building in a Cairo residential area caved in, killing 64 people.