Lille, FranceOld Town House Collapse – Partygoers were given early warning at 3.30am
The residents of a house in the old town of Lille were very lucky: they were evacuated in time when the building collapsed.
In the center of the northern French city of Lille two buildings collapsed The victims were not initially discovered. An extensive rescue operation is underway, the situation is still being investigated, the fire department said on Saturday morning. The newspaper reported that renovation work was carried out in one of the two neighboring buildings near the historic main square “Voice of the North”.
A newspaper photographer witnessed the collapse on his way to the newsroom. First, stones broke out of the facade, and then the buildings collapsed. “First I saw some rocks falling,” he reported. “I saw her come out of the house with the scaffolding. Then I saw the scaffolding shake, then everything collapsed in a huge cloud of dust and a loud crash.’
The collapse happened around 9:15 a.m. on a street that is heavily visited by shopping tourists during the day, especially on weekends. Residents of one of the buildings had already been evacuated overnight after a resident returning home from a party at 3:30 a.m. noticed cracks, the newspaper said. He also found the wall “strangely crooked”. The man is now being hailed as a hero on social media.
“I’m still shaking because if this gentleman hadn’t come home at three in the morning and contacted us, we wouldn’t have had this reaction – and of course there would have been deaths,” Lille mayor Martine Aubry told BFM television.
After the collapse, the area was cordoned off over a large area and neighboring buildings were evacuated. Rescuers with search dogs and special equipment were deployed in the ruins, the fire department said. Helpers arrived with a total of 48 vehicles.
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