BUILDING SAFETY

Death toll in Tenerife building collapse rises to seven

Victims reported to be Spanish, Italian, Moroccan and Finnish, according to municipal sources

Arona / Santa Cruz de Tenerife - 18 Apr 2016 - 08:37 CEST
Fire crews search the rubble for survivors.
Fire crews search the rubble for survivors.SANTIAGO FERRERO / REUTERS

Emergency services located more victims on Saturday in the rubble of a building that collapsed on Thursday in Los Cristianos neighborhood, on the Canary Island of Tenerife. The local police and sources from the Arona municipal council say that the death toll from the incident now stands at seven.

Work continued over the weekend to shore up an adjoining wall, which had been left unstable due to the collapse

Having already recovered the bodies of two women by Friday evening from the site, fire crews and emergency services found another woman and a man after 10pm on Friday evening, before locating the body of another man in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Two of the victims are reported to be Spanish, two Italian, one Moroccan and one Finnish, according to municipal sources cited by news agency EFE. The area is popular with tourists, hence the mix of nationalities among the victims.

Two of the people injured in the sudden collapse are still being treated in hospital, according to the 112 emergencies coordinator CECOES.

The five-story building that collapsed on Thursday was home to 28 residents, nine of whom were still listed as missing on Friday. However, four of the people who had not been located later appeared unharmed, and had not been in their apartments at the time of the incident.

Work continued over the weekend to shore up an adjoining wall, which had been left unstable due to the collapse. A response service was also put in place for families, including a team of psychologists, the Red Cross and a dozen translators.

The cause of the collapse is still unclear, although a local resident told EFE that there was a smell of gas and an explosion shortly before the collapse, which took place around 9.30am on Thursday.

English version by Simon Hunter.

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