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Thursday, Dec 01, 2022

Man's eagle eyes save lives in France building collapse

Man's eagle eyes save lives in France building collapse

No deaths have been reported so far following the collapse of a building in the northern French city of Lille, thanks to an early warning one by resident, authorities said.
One person was pulled from the rubble by Lille's firefighters, with only light injuries.

Another person, reported to be a doctor, remained missing as of Saturday evening. Officials had previously said that there were no potential victims.

The search for others trapped in the rubble was ongoing. An investigation into why the building collapsed will be launched afterwards.

The multiple-story building in the city center was evacuated before dawn after a man coming home from a night out at 3 a.m. saw cracks appearing on the surface.

He reported the issue to emergency services, the Lille prefecture said. The fire service responded and created a cordon around the danger zone.

Lille Mayor Martine Aubry told French broadcaster BFM TV that the man’s spot saved lives. He has not been named by the authorities.

“I am still shaking, because if this gentleman hadn’t come home at 3 a.m. and contacted us, we wouldn’t have had this reaction and, well, there would have obviously been deaths,” said Aubry.

“He then warned the municipal police and the firefighters, who decided to evacuate the building, believing that there was a real risk.”

In 2018, two dilapidated buildings collapsed in the southern French city of Marseille, killing eight people and triggering harsh criticism of local authorities and the French government.

France's interior minister at the time, Christophe Castaner, responded by ordering a citywide building-by-building audit as well as a program to guarantee safer conditions.
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