The death toll from the crashing of a six-storey apartment block in Beirut's eastern Ashrafiyeh district, Fassouh, left at least 20 people killed and another 11 injured.
The victims included 6 Lebanese, 8 Sudanese, 2 Jordanians, two Egyptians and another 2 citizens from Philippines.
The building, which was built in 1943, crashed down without warning on Sunday evening. It was known to house Lebanese and Sudanese families.
Lebanese President Michel Suleiman inspected on Sunday the scene of the collapse. Upon his arrival, Suleiman told the press that an investigation must be launched into the incident.
He also called on relevant authorities to run inspections on old buildings in order to prevent similar incidents.
Justice Minister Shakib Qortbawi said that "it is important to pursue the people responsible for the collapse of the building in the Achrafieh area." "The judiciary will carry out its duty," the National News Agency quoted Qortbawi as saying. The justice minister also called on the Lebanese to not jump to conclusions and wait for the investigation's results.
On this note, several experts launched an investigation after witnesses said that the building's owner, Michel Saadeh, had warned them not to stay in their apartments on Sunday night.
Al-intiqad had interviewed Gladis Naim, daughter of the victim Tanios Naim explained how the accident happened. "the building owner warned us only 5 minutes beforehand that the building is in state of collapse," she said, explaining that she and her mother had rushed down stairs and outside the building while her two brothers were trying to bring along their paralyzed father but did not succeed before the collapse which took place instantly.
It has been reported Monday that 17 corps were, up till now, retrieved from the rubble of the collapsed building.
Rescue operations continue to find the rest of the trapped residents.
Source: al-Intiqad, translated and edited by moqawama.org