Beirut building collapse kills 24, more missing

Posted at 01/17/2012 6:52 AM

BEIRUT - The death in toll from the collapse of a Beirut building rose to 24 on Monday and Lebanese officials said more than 10 people could still be under the rubble nearly a full night and day after the disaster.

Rescuers worked in heavy rain to try to find survivors from the ruins of the five-storey residential building in Beirut's Ashrafiyeh district.

Many of those killed were foreign workers, including Sudanese, Ethiopian, Egyptian and Filipino nationals. Twelve other people were being treated in hospital, health ministry officials said earlier on Monday.

It was not clear what had caused the disaster, which occurred after days of heavy rain in the Lebanese capital. Officials said the building was old.

Prime Minister Najib Mikati set up a team to investigate why the building had collapsed and to ensure the safety of other buildings in the city that could be prone to collapse.