Thu, March 05, 2009
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Building collapses in Germany

2009-03-05 11:19:15 GMT2009-03-05 19:19:15 (Beijing Time)  Reuters

Up to four people are trapped in the rubble of a multi-storey building in the city of Cologne.

The building, which contained thousands of historical records, collapsed on Tuesday (March 3, 2009). Rescue teams have found it difficult to reach those under the rubble due to the dangerous conditions at the site.

SCRIPT:

Hundreds of rescue workers rushed to the scene of this building collapse in the German city of Cologne.

The building gave way on Tuesday.

At least four people are trapped after initial reports suggested at least nine people were missing.

(SOUNDBITE)(German) GREGOR TIMMER, COLOGNE SPOKESMAN, SAYING

"Currently, we have to act on the assumption that two to four people might be missing and might be buried under the rubble."

Rescue work has been obstructed due to dangerous conditions at the building which housed archives.

(SOUNDBITE)(German) GREGOR TIMMER, COLOGNE SPOKESMAN, SAYING

"The buildings to the left and right of the collapse site are severely damaged and are in danger of partly falling down. That is why rescuers are currently unable to step onto the rubble."

Workers and visitors at the building heard it making strange sounds, and most people were able to escape.

Local media reports suggest underground work on a train line triggered the collapse.

A claim authorities have not confirmed.

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