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20 Die in Colombia Building Collapse

Illegal, false and irresponsible. Builders were using a fake license, says Cartagena Mayor

Rescue members look for bodies of people after a building under construction collapses in Cartagena, Colombia, Colombia April 27, 2017. Photo: Reuters

TODAY COLOMBIA – Twenty people died in the collapse of a residential building in the northern Colombian city of Cartagena, the mayor said on Twitter on Saturday after a two-day rescue operation.

The tragedy occurred on Thursday, when the six-storey building came crashing down for reasons that are being investigated, the Red Cross told AFP.

Emergency personnel saved 41 people from the rubble, 16 of them badly hurt.

The mayor, Manolo Duque, said 12 of the 20 people killed had been identified so far. A mass was being held late Saturday for the deceased.

Rescue teams on Saturday recovered two more bodies.Twelve of the bodies have been identified thus far, the Cartagena mayor’s office said on Twitter, adding that 95 percent of the rubble-removal work has been completed.

The collapse of the Blas de Lezo II building occurred at around 11:30 am Thursday while workers were on the job.

The mayor’s office scheduled a Mass for 6 pm Saturday in honor of the construction workers who died in the accident

“Confirmed: Illegal, false and irresponsible. Builders were using a fake license,” Duque said.

Also Friday, the federal Attorney General’s Office began investigating the mayor over the building collapse.

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