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Poland apartment building collapse claims four lives

| Updated: March 06, 2018 11:10:13


A general view of a collapsed building is seen in Poznan, Poland, March 4, 2018 in this picture obtained from social media. Reuters. A general view of a collapsed building is seen in Poznan, Poland, March 4, 2018 in this picture obtained from social media. Reuters.

Four people have been killed and 24 others injured after an apartment building collapsed Sunday in Poland's western city of Poznan, said officials.

The building contained 18 apartments and housed 40 residents, according to firefighters' spokesman Slawomir Brandt, who gave the death toll.

Firefighters and rescuers with dogs combed the rubble of the collapsed building in search of more victims, reports the Associated Press.

Polish TV channel TVP INFO showed part of a four-storey building in a heap and rescuers checking the debris in sub-freezing temperatures. The search was expected to continue until Monday.

Police and prosecutors questioned witnesses at the site.

"We heard this loud bang and then terrible cries from people 'Save us! Save us!,'" ground floor resident Krzysztof Sledz told state news agency PAP.

"My wife and I dressed and left the apartment to help the neighbours."

Sledz said they pulled their neighbour's 2-year-old daughter from a bed strewn with rubble.

Hospital spokeswoman Urszula Laszynska said one young girl was hospitalised in stable condition, while two other children were dismissed after being treated for bruises.

Displaced residents were offered shelter and food at a nearby hotel. Officials said the remaining part of the building was unsafe and would be torn down.

The government has promised shelter and financial support for the residents.

Regional governor Zbigniew Hoffman said it was too early to determine the cause of the collapse, but added that a gas explosion was one possible explanation.

Gas service to the site was cut off, and the remaining part of the building closed.

Last April, six people were killed and four injured when a gas explosion caused a small apartment building to collapse in the south-western Polish town of Swiebodzice.

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