Building collapse in Beirut suburb kills 4 and rescuers are searching for others


BEIRUT (AP) — A building collapsed in a southern suburb of Beirut late Monday, killing four people and injuring three others as rescuers searched for more people under the rubble, a paramedic official said.

The building in the suburb of Choueifat crumbled after days of heavy rain. Local officials said the four-story building was not considered safe and the municipality had ordered it evacuated two years ago out of concerns its foundation was weak. Despite the order, the owner of the building rented apartments to Syrian families.

Most of the people living in the building are Syrian citizens, according to Raja Zreik of the Islamic Health Society that was taking part in rescue operations. He said four people were killed.

State-run National News Agency also reported two women, a man and a child were killed.

Zreik told The Associated Press that two women and a boy were pulled out from under the rubble and rushed to a hospital.

A member of the Lebanese Red Cross told the local Al-Jadeed TV at the scene that 17 people are still believed to be under the rubble.

Lebanon hosts some 805,000 United Nations-registered Syrian refugees, but officials estimate the actual number is far higher: between 1.5 million and 2 million.

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