At least four die as Ivory Coast apartment block collapses

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At least four people, including two children, died when an apartment block collapsed in Ivory Coast’s commercial capital of Abidjan overnight, the fire brigade said on Monday.

Rescuers used torches to search through the mounds of broken concrete and carried out 30 people alive, officials said. One firefighter cradled a baby in the back of an ambulance.

Building resident, Oula Aimon Williams was anxiously observing the rescue operation hoping his daughter would be found safely.

“We live on the third floor, so now the third floor is on the first floor because the other floors have collapsed. But my daughter is inside, I have faith, with the arrival of the rescue team it’s going to be ok, they are removing debris, she’s in the living room, I hope it will be ok,” he said.

Firefighters were called to the five-story building in the Cocody neighborhood shortly after midnight. Four bodies had been recovered from the rubble by mid-morning, the fire brigade said, adding they were still looking for two more people.

Thirteen people were taken to hospital, it said. The number of people in the building when it collapsed was not immediately clear.

Prime Minister Patrick Achi visited the site and promised an investigation into the cause of the disaster, which came a week after several people were killed when another building collapsed in another part of Abidjan.