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Search Continues for Survivors in Collapsed Cairo Building

The bodies of nine people, most of them rescue workers, were pulled from the rubble of an 11-story building in Cairo that caught fire and then collapsed on top of them late Monday. Dozens of people were injured.

Search teams are racing against time looking for survivors in the rubble.

Cairo governor Abd El-Rehim Shehata says the effort is focusing on retrieving several people who are pinned beneath the debris pile, including at least a dozen firefighters and other rescue workers. He said those working to find the victims remain hopeful that the people will be found alive.

Bulldozers and cranes have arrived at the scene to remove large pieces of debris from the pile of rubble.

Officials say a fire broke out in an appliance store on a lower floor late Monday, destabilizing the building. Most of the residents were evacuated before the building collapsed.

The building was located on a busy street in a mixed commercial and residential area of Cairo, and was originally constructed as a five-story building.

Police said more floors had been added illegally, and shoddy construction may be partially to blame. A demolition order had been issued for the building in 1992, but was never carried out.

Officials have launched an investigation to determine the exact cause of the collapse.