A 14-story apartment building popular with vacationing Egyptians collapsed Monday in Alexandria, Egypt’s second-largest city, and rescuers were working to clear the debris, officials said. At least four people were reported to have been injured, and it was not immediately clear whether people were missing.
The accident, in the city’s Sidi Bishr neighborhood, which is a central, residential area, was just one of a string of deadly building collapses in recent years in Egypt, where reports have highlighted the risks of maintenance failures and dilapidated structures.
Speaking at the site, Mohamed El-Sherif, the city’s governor, said the collapse was caused by a “vertical split” in the building’s structure, causing half the building to crumple.
Mr. El-Sherif added that the building, constructed in the 1970s, had been on the municipality’s list of buildings at risk of collapse and that the top floor had received a demolition order.
The Egyptian prosecutor-general said on Monday that he ordered an investigation into the collapse.
Most apartments in the building are rentals used by vacationers in the summer season, the Alexandria governorate said in a statement. It was not clear if the apartments were occupied.
A video posted by the Alexandria authorities showed smoke rising from the mountain of debris, and firefighters directing water hoses at it.
In 2021, Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism, a nonprofit, found that building collapses had killed 500 people in the previous seven years across Egypt. According to the report, Alexandria was the deadliest governorate, with 86 deaths in that period, including that of 16 children.