CAIRO, Feb. 10 (AP) — At least six people were killed when a cooking gas cylinder contained in the basement of a four-story apartment building in northern Egypt exploded Friday, causing the building to collapse. Authorities said 27 people were injured.
The explosion and subsequent collapse occurred in the Nile Delta city of Damanhur, about 150 kilometers (99 miles) north of the capital Cairo. The Egyptian prosecutor’s office said the storage of the cylinders violated regulations.
In a separate statement, authorities said three children, the youngest just three years old, were among the dead.
It said efforts were underway to find those still missing under the rubble, while the injured were taken to nearby hospitals. No further details were immediately provided.
Building collapses are common in Egypt, and poor construction and repairs are common across the country, especially in shanty towns, low-income communities and rural areas.
Six people were killed when an apartment building collapsed in the southern city of Asyuit last month.
After Friday’s crash, Egypt’s Ministry of Social Solidarity said families of the victims would receive 50,000 Egyptian pounds (about $1,638) in aid.
Families who lost their homes in the collapse will receive 20,000 Egyptian pounds, or about $655, it said.
After decades of lax enforcement, the government has struggled in recent years to crack down on illegal construction. In addition, the authorities are building new cities and neighborhoods to house those living in modest buildings.
Yet many cities in the North African country still have vast swaths of unlicensed apartment blocks and shantytowns that violate building codes. (Associated Press)
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