Forty families had to spend the very cold night outside their homes because of the collapse of the basement of a building in Meknes
There was a state of panic today in the city of Meknes, after a collapse under an apartment building where the digging works were carried out in order to establish a business housing a series of markets.
At around 12.30 on Saturday shop workers were surprised at the collapse of the bottom of an existing building on an intersection of Avenue des FAR in central Meknes.
The collapse happened under residential accommodation and led to the partial collapse and cracking in an adjacent apartment building, without causing casualties, with the exception of a worker who was injured in the incident.
Security authorities and civil protection cordoned off the scene, and directed all the inhabitants of residential accommodation to spend the night outside their apartments, for fear of another collapse. Very few were allowed to collect baggage or clothing from their apartments.
Later reports say there were back injuries among pedestrians who were transported to hospital for treatment, while civil protection workers are checking the rubble to make sure there are no deaths among construction workers who were present. There were said to have been dozens of workers at the site.
The collapse occurred on a building undergoing renovation and was caused by a technical malfunction, according to some sources.
The sources also denied reports that circulated saying about 58 people were killed in the accident.
Another bus tragedy
An accident between a car and a minibus carrying tourists has left twelve injured near Essaouira, in the southwest of Morocco on Saturday.
Twelve people were injured in a collision between a minibus and a car near Essaouira. The victims included eight tourists.
The minibus, carrying 18 tourists from Belgium, France and Germany, collided with a car traveling in the opposite direction. The wounded were evacuated to Essaouira. Seven of them were then taken by helicopter to the University Hospital of Marrakech.
During the summer of 2012, Morocco had seen the worst bus accident in its history: 42 people died after the fall of their bus into a ravine between Ouarzazate and Marrakech.
This incident highlights the danger of Moroccan roads on which more than 4,000 people died in 2012.