Bulaq building collapses, families survive

A five-story building of 15 apartments collapsed yesterday in Bulaq. The 13 families living in the building were all reportedly inside when it collapsed. All but one have been found alive. Search efforts are ongoing to find the remaining resident.

Mohamed Abdel Aziz Ali, who lived on the fourth floor but is currently thought to be under the rubble, had called his neighbors on his mobile asking for help. Rescuers are using dogs to locate Ali.

Civil defense forces and ambulances rushed to the scene to help pull the victims from the rubble. Parts of the building fell, destroying five police cars, as well as some civilian cars.

Ahmed Mohamed, one of the residents of the collapsed building, said he found the ground shaking underneath at 9PM last night while in his apartment on the third floor.

"The building tilted to the right, then the left side of the building started collapsing," he said. "Then the entire building collapsed all at once." He and the other residents escaped out of the building, he said.

Ali Tolba, 44, another resident, said the building may have collapsed because one of the of the ground floor dwellers had torn down a wall in his apartment while renovating.

Cairo Governor Abdel Azim Wazir, said an order had been given to demolish the fourth and fifth floors and to restore the rest of the building. He added that the owner and residents had been notified of the decision.

Wazir said that the families will be given 15 alternative apartments in the Nahda area and paid LE5000 each in compensation.

The collapsed building, built on a surface area of 800 square meters, is located next to Bulaq police station. Fifteen ambulances and fire engines rushed to the accident site and cordoned off the collapsed building.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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