Italian building collapses, traps 30 people, killing one

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Published: January 30 2019 03:24 AM

An apartment building collapsed in central Italy on Saturday, trapping up to 30 people underground and killing at least one person.

The fire service said Saturday’s building collapse took place after a “complete collapse” of the three-story building in Ravanusa, on the Adriatic coast.

Fire Chief Franco Grilli said rescue efforts have been “extremely complicated,” with the building’s narrow foundations making it difficult to get to the people who were believed to be inside.

“Our crews, working in the dark, are going to make every effort to locate people. The whole area has become a virtual cemetery because of the multiple collapses,” Grilli said.

Eight people were reportedly missing, including several children.

Italy’s Red Cross said it had mobilized resources to help those affected.

The fire service said earlier that it was investigating reports that the building was built illegally.

A government commission to establish how the rest of the country’s earthquake-prone buildings were constructed will investigate the collapse of the apartment building in Ravanusa, National Fire Protection Department spokesman Carmelo Zuccaro said Saturday.

The commission was established after an earthquake in August 2017, which struck near the town of Amatrice, killing nearly 300 people.

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