Death toll in Egyptian building collapse rises to 19

Only three people were rescued out of some 30, the estimated number of the building residents.

egypt building collapse  (photo credit: AP)
egypt building collapse
(photo credit: AP)
Rescuers pulled seven more bodies early on Wednesday out of the rubble of a 12-story building which collapsed in Egypt's Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, bringing the death toll to 19, a senior police official said. An Egyptian couple in their forties were the latest to be extracted from the debris, said Maj. Gen. Kamal el-Dali, the head of the Alexandria police investigative division . He added that rescue workers with sniffing dogs continued their search for eight other people feared dead while hope of finding them alive on the third day since the collapse. Only three people were rescued out of some 30, the estimated number of the building residents, according to Maj. Gen. Abdel-Meguid Selim, who spoke to the Associated Press on Tuesday night. "We are in a race against time," Selim said. "We hope to get as many victims alive as possible," he added. The local government had previously ordered the building, located in the Loran suburb, to be demolished down or renovated as it was built without authorization more than 25 years ago, according to MENA news agency. A police official said the building, built in 1978, originally had seven stories but five additional ones were built in recent years. Selim, however, cautioned that it was too early to tell what caused the building to collapse. 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.