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Block of flats in Alexandria collapses, kills at least 6

Emergency personnel search for survivors amid the rubble of a seven-story building that collapsed in Alexandria, Egypt on 25 August 2013 [AFP/Getty Images]
Emergency personnel search for survivors amid the rubble of a seven-story building that collapsed in Alexandria, Egypt on 25 August 2013 [AFP/Getty Images]

An apartment block in Egypt's northern coastal city of Alexandria has collapsed killing several people.

Rescue workers are still looking for survivors following the incident which took place in the Moharam Bek neighbourhood of the city.

The bodies of three women and three men have been recovered so far and two children have been rescued.

Alexandria governor, Mohammed El-Sharif, said he believed there were two families each of nine members inside the block when it collapsed.

On average, buildings collapse every few months in Egypt, an occurrence blamed by campaigners on lack of oversight and unauthorised construction – in November 2014 a building in Cairo collapsed, leaving 17 dead.

Local residents say it was built with wooden support rather than concrete and that floors kept being added to the building.

READ: Hollywood star Scarlett Johansson calls on Egypt to release EIPR staff

Despite the fact that many of the buildings have been condemned, the owners ward off police with bribes which prevents dangerous buildings from being pulled down.

Often residents are aware that their homes are unsafe but they have nowhere else to go. When their buildings collapse, they are often made homeless.

Alexandria has a particularly bad record for collapsing tower blocks.

In 2013, nearly 30 men, women and children were killed in Alexandria after a block of flats collapsed.

Engineers say around 20 buildings collapse per year in Alexandria alone.

Often, when buildings fall they crush other blocks around them.

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