Building collapse in Egypt kills three lawyers

CAIRO (AP) – An apartment building collapsed in a city just outside Egypt’s capital, killing at least three people, state-run media reported yesterday.

Rescue teams were still searching for possible victims under the rubble of the four-story building in the city of Shoubra el-Khaima in Qalyubia province, according to the daily Al-Ahram. The building collapsed late Wednesday.

The Bar Association’s branch in Qalyubia announced that the dead were lawyers working in a law firm in the building owned by one of them.

The official MENA news agency said police cordoned off the area and evacuated a neighbouring building for safety reasons.

It was not immediately known what caused the collapse. MENA reported that prosecutors’ initial investigation showed the building was old but didn’t say how old.

Apartment building collapses are common in Egypt, where shoddy construction is widespread in shantytowns, poor city neighbourhoods and rural areas.

At least five women died when an apartment building collapsed in June in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria. Another building in Cairo collapsed in March, leaving at least 25 dead.