Monday, October 28, 2013

House Collapse in Rcif

A partial house collapse in Rcif has left one person missing and five people in hospital. Rachida El Joukh reports for The View from Fez (See late update at foot of story)
Police, fire and ambulance officers were quickly on the scene

The collapse happened Monday morning (Oct 28). According to local people workmen was doing building work to the external walls of the building in Derb Sidi El Aoued, off the main Rcif taxi area, when they saw the entire building beginning to move. They managed to escape the  collapse when the top floor crashed down into the second floor. The old building, a former foundouk, collapsed due to overload, after being transformed into a workshop for making traditional shoes.

The ground floor, which was used to house donkeys, was also not impacted and the animals were not in the building at the time.

Rescue teams searching through the rubble

One man, named only as Hamid 'l'fissal", a babouche (slipper) maker, who was working with others in a room on the top floor is missing and a search continues in the rubble. Police quickly discovered his phone number and rang it. The phone was heard ringing but when they dug through to it there was no sign of Hamid.

Initial reports claimed that seven people had been injured. Later the number was reduced to five. Some of the five taken to hospital are said to be in a serious condition. It is believed they were also babouche makers. One is said is to be a woman. The malaam (boss) of the babouche workers had a lucky escape as he was outside the building at the time of the disaster.

The owner of the building, named as "Rabeh", arrived and was questioned by police as they believed he had no building permission.

This report will be updated when further information comes to hand.

UPDATE:  According to sources at the Hassan II Hospital, the missing man "Hamid" was found alive in the rubble and is expected to make a full recovery. Of the other victims only three are said to be in a serious condition.

 News report in Arabic
Reporting: Rachida El Joukh
Main photograph: Suzanna Clarke

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