2 Pinoys dead, one missing in Beirut building collapse


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One Filipino also hurt in collapse of six-story building in Lebanese capital

MANILA, Philippines – Two Filipinos are among the 24 people reportedly killed in a building collapse in Beirut, Lebanon on Sunday, January 15.

The Lebanese National News Agency (NNA) reported that the incident involved a six-story residential building in the Ashrafieh neighborhood of the city.

Foreign Affairs spokesperson Raul Hernandez, in an interview over radio dzBB, confirmed the report. He also added a fourth Filipino was hurt in the incident.

The identities of the 2 Filipino fatalities, both women, are yet to be released, while another Filipino is missing. They were in the building to attend a prayer meeting.

Embassy officials and members of the Filipino community in the city have identified the bodies, Hernandez said in an interview on ANC. The DFA is also preparing for the repatriation of the bodies.

Meanwhile, 12 people were injured in the collapse.

The building reportedly housed some 50 people, mostly laborers from Sudan and Egypt, Lebanese civil defense chief General Raymond Khattar told the Agence France-Presse.

AFP also reported witnesses seeing debris falling off the structure prior to the entire building collapsing.

The incident has prompted Lebanese officials to review building and safety codes, and an investigation is underway to pinpoint the reason behind the incident. Lebanese authorities are now questioning the owner of the building. – Rappler.com

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