Death toll from Alexandria building collapse reaches 33

Egyptian authorities issue arrest warrant for the owner of the building, who is believed to be in Kuwait.

Egypt building 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
Egypt building 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
Rescue workers pulled more bodies from the rubble of a 12-story building that collapsed this week, raising the death toll to 33, Egypt's state-run-news agency MENA reported Saturday. Only three residents of the building, which collapsed Monday in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, have been found alive. MENA said that rescue workers continued to search for remaining bodies that might still be buried under the debris. Six vehicles were retrieved from the rubble Friday. The local government had previously ordered the building, located in the Loran suburb, to be demolished or renovated since it was built without permission more than 25 years ago, according to the MENA. The building originally had seven stories but five more were added in recent years. Officials have not said what caused the collapse. Egyptian authorities have issued an arrest warrant for the owner of the building, who is believed to be in Kuwait, and have summoned local Alexandria officials for questioning, local media has reported. Officials have also arrested two contractors and a local city council member, who has been released on bail, local reports said. Buildings regularly collapse in Egypt, either as a result of deterioration with time or shoddy construction that fails to meet standards and regulations. Also, some owners tend to illegally add on more stories, destabilizing the structure.