CAIRO – A nine-story apartment building collapsed in the Egyptian capital early Saturday, killing at least five people and injuring about two dozen others, an official said. Rescue workers were searching for any survivors trapped under the rubble of the building in the el-Salam neighborhood, said Khalid Abdel-Al, the administrative head of Cairo governorate.
At least 24 others were injured and taken to hospitals, he said in a statement.
Police cordoned off the area, keeping back the curious and people apparently looking for relatives in the building. Workers were seen using bulldozers to clear away debris.
It was not immediately clear what caused the building’s collapse. An engineering committee was formed to examine the structural integrity of neighboring buildings, Abdel-Al said.
Building collapses are not uncommon in Egypt, where shoddy construction is widespread in shantytowns, poor city neighborhoods and rural areas.
With real estate at a premium in big cities like Cairo and the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, developers seeking bigger profits frequently violate building permits. Extra floors often are added without proper government permits.