Damascus [Syria], January 23: At least 16 people were killed and four others injured in the collapse of a five-floor building in northern Syria, the war-torn country's official news agency SANA reported on Sunday.
Civil defence and rescue teams continue to remove rubble and search for survivors at the site in the northern city of Aleppo, the agency added.
The collapse was due to water leakage that weakened the building's foundations, SANA quoted an unidentified source in Aleppo governorate as saying. The building was located in the Kurdish-controlled Sheikh Maqsoud neighbourhood.
Initially, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitor, said at least 10 people were killed in the collapse. It then raised the toll to 15 and said most of the victims were children.
At least 30 people were living in the building, according to the Britain-based observatory. A 15-year-boy was among those pulled out alive from under the rubble, it said.
The number of dead could be higher, however. A source at a local hospital told dpa most residents of the building are believed to have died.
So far, local authorities have made no public comment on the reports.
The Kurd-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) has been in control of the neighbourhood since the militia wrested the area from Syrian opposition fighters in 2016.
SDF Commander Mazloum Abdi in a statement condemned the Syrian government forces that control the neighborhoods surrounding Sheikh Maksoud for "banning for years the entry of basic materials into the neighborhood, obstructing efforts to stabilize and restore life in the area."
In recent months, Aleppo has seen several building collapses blamed on impacts of bombardments and explosions.
In September, 10 people were killed in such an incident in the Aleppo district of al-Fardous.
Source: Qatar Tribune