Two bodies discovered as an explosion destroyed Marseille building

Two corpses have been discovered after an explosion destroyed a four-story apartment building in Marseille. Around 24 hours after the explosion destroyed the four-story building in the southern French port city on the Mediterranean, the bodies were found.

Local authorities reported that six persons were still missing and that rescue efforts were ongoing. Sunday at 00:49 local time, an explosion occurred in the neighborhood of La Plaine (23:49 BST on Saturday). Investigators are investigating the possibility of a gas leak as a possible cause.

Five people from neighboring buildings incurred minor injuries as a result of the explosion, and approximately 200 individuals were forced to evacuate their homes. A few hours later, two nearby buildings partially collapsed without causing any additional injuries. On Sunday, approximately one hundred firefighters responded to the scene to extinguish a fire that had been raging beneath the debris. 

The fire hindered progress and made it difficult for rescuers to deploy sniffer dogs, but authorities reported Sunday evening that the conflagration was showing signs of abating. The building is believed to have contained one flat per floor, and city officials previously stated that among the missing was a "young couple." 

Utilizing a crane and lights, rescue operations proceeded into the early hours of Monday morning.

The fire department stated in a brief statement announcing the discovery of the bodies that “given the difficulties of intervention, the extraction [of the corpses from the site] will take time.” Two schools and a gymnasium  have been established as temporary housing for those displaced from their homes. Additionally, psychological support is provided. 

Emmanuel Macron, the president of France, tweeted that he was "thinking of those afflicted and their loved ones" and thanked emergency personnel for their efforts.

Benoit Payan, the mayor of Marseille, stated that rescuers remained "determined" to locate survivors. "Hope must sustain us," he declared. One local told local sources that the detonation was "unlike anything I've ever heard." 

Saveria Mosnier, a local resident, told sources that she was sleeping when a massive explosion shook her room violently. she was startled awake as if from a dream. She also stated that they immediately detected a strong petrol odor that persisted.

Deputy Mayor Yannick Ohanessian told reporters at the site, "This morning, several witnesses reported a gas odor that was suspicious." Minister of the Interior Gerald Darmanin visited the scene on Sunday, and Minister of Housing Olivier Klein will arrive on Monday.

In 2018, Marseille's housing standards came under scrutiny following the collapse of two dilapidated buildings in the working-class neighborhood of Noailles, which killed eight people. As a result of that incident, charities estimated that 40,000 people in the city lived in inadequately constructed homes, but Sunday officials appeared to rule out structural issues as the cause of the most recent collapse. Christophe Mirmand, the head of the local government in the Bouches-du-Rhone region, stated that there was no danger notice on the structure and that it was not located in a neighborhood with substandard housing. Mr. Payan concurred with the statements.