Two buildings collapse in Lille, one person missing

In the center of Lille, rue Pierre Mauroy, a shopping street close to the Grand-Place, two small adjoining buildings collapsed on Saturday November 12, a little after 9 a.m. In the early afternoon, the firefighters announced that a person was missing. Nearly forty emergency vehicles are mobilized.

A resident had given the alert

A dozen people had been evacuated during the night, as a precaution thanks to the alert given by a resident who was returning home and had seen that a wall was gondola “, according to the mayor of Lille, Martine Aubry. He then warned the municipal police and firefighters, who decided to evacuate one building, the other seeming empty, estimating “there was a real risk”.

“We owe him a big debt”, added the chosen one. The surrounding buildings were also evacuated on Saturday morning “as a precaution”. According to her, most of the inhabitants have been rehoused with family or friends. Buildings were also evacuated.

Firefighters were deployed in numbers at the end of the morning to check the risks and start clearing the rubble, a dusty mixture of bricks and metal beams, remains of scaffolding on the facade of the building. The track of a gas leak seems to have been ruled out, even if the investigations are continuing.

Work was in progress on one of the buildings

“We didn’t hear a big boom” but a noise “metal and concrete”, said an evacuated neighbor. One of the two buildings that collapsed was, in fact, under construction, without the nature of it being known. “There was no particular alert on this building, it was not a building hit by unsanitary conditions”said the Minister for Housing, Olivier Klein.

The other building dates from the second half of the 18th century. A building of great heritage with sculpted beams which had been restored.

The weight of the scaffolding could be the cause of the accident. The city’s town planning departments also point to the many works carried out in the old center to enlarge the commercial areas which lead to the tearing down of load-bearing walls, while the facades are not able to support the whole of the building. building.


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