Eleven missing after apartment collapse in Colombia

150 rescuers search wreckage of 54-unit building for survivors

A Colombian soldier stands guard next to the rubble of a collapsed building in Medellin. Photograph: Albeiro Lopera/Reuters

A Colombian soldier stands guard next to the rubble of a collapsed building in Medellin. Photograph: Albeiro Lopera/Reuters

Sun, Oct 13, 2013, 20:24

Eleven people are missing after a high-rise apartment building collapsed in Colombia.

Although no deaths have been confirmed so far, searchers are hunting through the wreckage in the city of Medellin.

The 54-unit building had been evacuated after cracks appeared on Friday, according to Jaime Enrique Gomez, acting director of Medellin’s disaster preparedness agency.

After the collapse, five other buildings in the “Space” development were evacuated as well.

Mr Gomez said about 150 rescuers were trying to find the missing in the ruins of the 22-storey building that fell on Saturday night in one of the most exclusive neighbourhoods Colombia’s second-largest city.

“We cannot lose hope of finding them alive,” Mr Gomez said by telephone.

The development’s builder, CDO Constructora, had issued a statement on Friday saying that a flaw had been found in a concrete column and that it was under repair.

The company had issued an assurance that “there is no danger for the rest of the building”.

AP