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5 dead in Belgium school collapse

Brussels – Five building workers were confirmed dead yesterday a day after a school construction site partially collapsed in the Belgian city of Antwerp.

The last two bodies were pulled out the rubble yesterday afternoon, Antwerp’s fire department said, meaning that all the missing victims were now accounted for.

King Philippe of Belgium visited the scene yesterday accompanied by Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo.

Two of the dead were from Portugal and Romania, police told local media while the nationality of the other dead workers was not clear.

But when three people were still missing, rescue workers had said they were looking for two more Portuguese and one Russian.

Nine other people were injured in the incident on Friday afternoon, with three still in intensive care a day later, but not in critical condition, the fire department tweeted.

As the school was still under construction, no students were present when the accident happened.

The cause of the collapse was not known, but all the victims were sub-contractors for construction firm Democo, Belga news agency reported.

“All the employees are devastated,” Frederik Bijnens, Democo’s managing director, told Belga.

“Now that the emergency services have done all they can, a thorough investigation will begin to identify the cause of the accident,” he added. — AFP

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