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At least 14 killed and 7 injured in Matareya building collapse

A building collapsed in Matareya early Tuesday morning, killing at least 14 and injuring 7, according to reports from the Health Ministry.

The state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram reported that governor of the Matareya district in northern Cairo ordered an investigation into the reasons behind the building’s collapse.

The privately owned Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper stated that the governor of Cairo, Galal Mostafa Saeed, ordered utility companies to cut off water, electricity and gas to the collapsed building.

According to the newspaper, Saeed stated that the government would provide any assistance needed by the victims of the collapse. A committee of engineers will also be formed to investigate the reasons for the collapse, he added.

Eyewitnesses told local news outlets that some of the stories were built without proper authorization, and that this might be part of the reason why the building collapsed.

According to Al-Masry Al-Youm, the six-story building collapsed at 1:45 am, and since then the death count has been steadily rising. The newspaper also reported that rescue teams found it difficult to extract the victims due to limited space around the building.

The names and ages of the victims have not been released yet.

A building has collapsed in Egypt almost every month this year, and while some of them are not attributed to particular reasons, others are blamed on violations by building owners: 

  • September: a building collapse in Sohag resulted in the death of two children.
  • October: a four-story building collapsed in the Delta city of Tanta. No casualties occurred. 
  • August: a four-story building collapsed suddenly in the Delta city of Mahalla. 
  • July: a four-story building in Alexandria’s Moharam Beih neighborhood collapsed, leaving no casualties.
  • June: a four-story building in Alexandria’s Raml Station area collapsed, due to unauthorized demolition works conducted by the owner. 
  • May: a three-story building collapsed in Cairo’s Basateen area. Two people died.
  • March: a building collapsed in Shubra and at least two people were killed.
  • February: a three-story building in Alexandria’s Muharam Beih collapsed. No one was injured. 
  • January: a three-story building collapsed in the Delta city of Mahalla. The building had not executed demolition orders.

According to a statement the Atlantic Council released in March 2014, at least 20 buildings collapse on a yearly basis in Alexandria alone. 

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