AMMAN: Jordanian rescue teams kept searching Wednesday for 10 people still missing under the rubble of a collapsed four-story building in Amman, where five bodies were recovered the day before.
Anxious relatives waited at the disaster site in downtown Amman where emergency services were racing against the clock to dig any survivors from the debris of the residential building.
“According to our information, 10 people are still under the rubble of the collapsed building, and some of them are still alive,” government spokesman Faisal Shboul told the Al-Mamlaka state television channel.
“Search operations are continuing at the site. The terrain is rough, the buildings are close to each other and the corridors are narrow, which makes the search difficult.”
According to an eyewitness who asked not to be identified, rescue workers, some toiling by hand, had been able to communicate with at least three trapped people.
The head of the civil defense service, Hatem Jaber, said Wednesday that “more than 300 civil defense personnel have taken part in the search for those trapped under the rubble.”
Rescue teams “will not rest” until all have been accounted for, he said.
Fourteen people have been reported injured in the collapse.
The site was cordoned off Wednesday morning and police stopped local residents from approaching it to avoid hampering the search operation, an AFP correspondent said.
The disaster site is in the capital’s central Jabal Al-Weibdeh district, one of Amman’s oldest neighborhoods, known for its vibrant cultural life and home to a large number of expatriates.
Prime Minister Bisher Al-Khasawneh and several government ministers inspected the site Tuesday.
Jordan’s Deputy Prime Minister Tawfiq Kreishan had told state television that “among the reasons for the collapse of the building is that it is old and dilapidated.”
A judicial source said that “the public prosecutor’s office had opened an investigation into the collapse of the building.”