Beirut: At least 26 killed in building collapse

At least 26 people were killed when an old six-storey building in Beirut collapsed, with more people still trapped under the rubble, officials said.

Beirut: At least 26 people were killed when
an old six-storey building in the Lebanese capital collapsed,
officials said on Tuesday, with more people still trapped under the

"Until now, 26 bodies have been recovered and we believe
there are more buried under the building that collapsed Sunday
evening," Red Cross official Georges Kettaneh said.

A dozen people were also injured, none of them seriously.
Civil defence chief General Raymond Khattar told AFP the
bodies recovered by rescuers who worked through Sunday night
and Monday included those of seven Lebanese, six Sudanese, two
Filipinos and two Egyptians.

Among the dead was a 15-year-old Lebanese girl, and those
hurt included her grandmother as well as a 73-year-old
Lebanese man, at least two Sudanese, an Egyptian and a

The building housed some 50 people, many of them
labourers from Sudan and Egypt, Khattar said, adding that at
least eight people were known to have escaped as the building
came down.

A Syrian labourer at a nearby building site said debris
started falling from the building in the early evening before
the entire block came crashing down.

Interior Minister Marwan Charbel, who visited the site on
Sunday night with President Michel Sleiman, told reporters the
building`s owner had been detained for questioning and a probe
was under way.

The government announced it would grant compensation of
30 million Lebanese pounds (20,000 dollars, 15,750 euros) to
the family of each victim as well as families who had been
living in the collapsed building.