Apartment building collapses in Italy; some may be trapped

2017-07-07 09:30
Rescuers work amid the rubble of a building that collapsed in Torre Annunziata, near Naples, southern Italy. (Ciro Fusco/ANSA via AP)

Rescuers work amid the rubble of a building that collapsed in Torre Annunziata, near Naples, southern Italy. (Ciro Fusco/ANSA via AP)

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Milan - A five-story apartment block has collapsed near the southern Italian city of Naples, and authorities are working to find anyone who may have been trapped.

Firefighters told Sky TG24 that six or seven people are believed to be buried in the rubble in the town of Torre Annunziata.

Firefighters on long, retractable ladders were checking the stability of an adjacent building in the residential neighborhood.

Mayor Vincenzo Ascione was quoted by the news agency ANSA as saying that two families were missing, including two children.

Witnesses said there was no explosion before the collapse sometime after 6 am, but that a train had just passed by on adjacent train tracks, according to ANSA.

Images show the structure partially collapsed, revealing the interior of some apartments. Some 30 rescue workers were removing rubble by hand, passing it out in buckets, as firefighters on long, retractable ladders checked the stability of the section that remained intact.

At one point, the digging was paused while a sniffer dog checked the scene. News reports indicated that reconstruction work was being carried out on the building before the collapse.

The mayor said it wasn't immediately clear if there was a connection between the work and the collapse. The train line that passes Mount Vesuvius and connects Naples with such tourist sites as Pompeii and the Amalfi coast has been closed.

The Italian railway said in a statement that the vibrations from passing trains have no impact on the stability of adjacent buildings.

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