Collapse of a building in Lille: a body found in the rubble last night, photos of the damage before the tragedy released

According to the commander of relief operations, Stéphane Beauventre, “there is a lot of convergence so that we are on the person we have been looking for since noon”, a 45-year-old doctor, who had been given an apartment in the building for the weekend.

“His body went to the forensic institute. It will be clearly identified later,” he said.

The victim was located shortly before 1:30 a.m., a police source said. The prefecture confirmed the discovery of a deceased person.

Two three-storey buildings, one of which was under construction, had collapsed on Saturday around 9:15 a.m. on rue Pierre-Mauroy, a shopping street in the city center, but most of the inhabitants had been able to be evacuated thanks to the alert launched by one of them a few hours earlier.

Several politicians had initially indicated that there were “a priori” no victims, before the firefighters announced that they were looking for this doctor whose car was parked on the spot and who had not presented himself to his appointment.

Another person, slightly injured, could be evacuated above the rubble on Saturday afternoon, according to the emergency services. The Lille prosecutor’s office told AFP that it had opened an investigation for “endangering the lives of others” and commissioned “a judicial expertise”.

According to the Minister Delegate for Housing, Olivier Klein, who will travel to Lille on Monday, this building was not “stricken with insalubrity”.

A dozen people had been evacuated a few hours before the collapse, explained the socialist mayor of Lille, Martine Aubry, present on the spot Saturday morning.

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It was one of the residents, who returned home at 3:00 a.m., who gave the alert, after noticing “that the building had moved”.

“We could no longer open the door, we could hear rubble falling,” told France Bleu Nord this young man, Thibault Lemay, who immediately alerted the emergency services.

On Twitter, a resident posted the photos of the damage a few hours before the collapse.

The municipal police and the firefighters decided to evacuate a building, the other seeming empty, considering “that there was a real risk” indicated Ms. Aubry.

“I’m still shaking, because if that night this gentleman hadn’t come home at 3:00 a.m. and hadn’t joined us (…) there would be deaths,” she said, before the announcement that A local resident was missing. She said she had taken “an order of imminent danger”.

Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin thanked on Twitter “the student who gave the alert last night”.

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