12 killed as apartment building collapses in Cairo

Rescuers search through the rubble (AP)
Rescuers search through the rubble (AP)

A five-storey apartment building has collapsed in the Egyptian capital Cairo, leaving at least 12 people dead, authorities said.

The state-run MENA news agency said rescue teams pulled bodies from the wreckage and sent four survivors to hospital following the collapse in Cairo’s Hadaeq el-Qubbah neighbourhood, roughly two miles from the city centre.

Cairo’s deputy governor Hossam Fawzi said 12 people were killed and that efforts continued to find two missing people.

Following an initial investigation, Egypt’s public prosecutor said the collapse was likely to have been caused by one of the ground-floor residents who removed a number of walls during earlier maintenance work.

Egypt Building Collapse
At least 12 people were killed (AP)

The male resident was arrested and is being questioned, it said.

Egypt’s Ministry of Social Solidarity said it would give 60,000 Egyptian pounds (£1,485) to the families of the victims.

The ministry also said it would deliver aid to the injured and was monitoring the damage to nearby properties.

Police forces cordoned off the area as rescue teams combed the rubble in search of possible survivors, according to local reports.

Building collapses are common in Egypt, where shoddy construction and a lack of maintenance are widespread in shantytowns, poor city neighbourhoods and rural areas.

The government has tried to crack down on illegal building in recent years after decades of lax enforcement.

Authorities are also building new cities and neighbourhoods to rehouse those living in at-risk areas.