Building collapse in Colombia, 11 missing

Monday 14 Oct 2013 7:05 a.m.

Lives may have been saved because the building was evacuated after cracks appeared (Reuters)

Lives may have been saved because the building was evacuated after cracks appeared (Reuters)

Searchers hunted through the wreckage of a collapsed high-rise in Medellin, Colombia, on Sunday, trying to locate 11 people missing.

No deaths had yet been confirmed, and many lives may have been saved because the 54-unit apartment building was evacuated after cracks appeared on Friday, said Jaime Enrique Gomez, acting director of Medellin's disaster preparedness agency. After the collapse, five other buildings in the "Space" development were evacuated as well.

Gomez said about 150 rescuers were trying to find the missing in the ruins of the 22-story building that fell Saturday night in one of the most exclusive neighbourhoods of Medellin, Colombia's second-largest city.

"We cannot lose hope of finding them alive," he said by telephone.

The company that built the development, CDO Constructora, issued a statement on Friday saying that a flaw had been found in a concrete column and that it was under repair. The company assured that "there is no danger for the rest of the building."

AP

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