Egypt Watch

Death toll from Cairo building collapse rises, investigations reveal government inaction

The death toll of the collapse of a residential building in Gesr Suez, Cairo, has risen to 25 deaths and 25 injuries including critical cases. The civil protection teams found nine corpses under the rubble.

On the other hand, the head of Gesr Suez Municipal authority revealed to the public prosecution that a violation was issued against the building earlier and reported to the government, but no action was taken.

Moreover, initial investigations revealed that the basement of the building had been occupied by a huge meat and fruit refrigerator for years, so a couple of residents filed a complaint against the owner and it was taken away. This allegedly affected the foundations of the building due to the humidity that filtered through to them. However, the owner used the basement again, along with the first two floors, as a clothes factory in another violation. Moreover, the owner added seven more floors above the licensed three floors.

Eyewitnesses said that the building leaned two days before the collapse, and some residents departed fearing it would collapse, but the majority remained because they had nowhere else to go.

The total collapse of the building made the rescue operations difficult and they are set to continue for days.