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Corruption blamed for Alexandria building collapse

Corruption amongst local government officials is being blamed for the collapse of a 12-storey residential building in Alexandria, Egypt, which has so far killed 35.

Rescue teams have been pulling bodies from the rubble since Christmas Eve with only three survivors found so far.

According to officials at least 10 more are expected to be found as the search continues.

The collapsed building was originally seven storeys high before the owner is alleged to have added five additional storeys without a permit.

A warrant has been issued for her arrest, and two contractors have already been arrested, along with a local council official.

The tragedy has sparked public anger towards allegedly corrupt officials turning a blind eye to illegal construction.

The Muslim Brotherhood, the largest opposition organisation to the Egyptian government, has lambasted the Government for the state of its infrastructure policy.

Muslim Brotherhood leader, Mohammed Mursi, himself an engineer, wrote on the party's website: "There are violations in building codes, in issuing permits, in carrying out demolition orders, all ignored because of bribes."

Alexandria's Governor, General Adel Labib, also commented on the scale of the problem saying that there are currently 31,000 known building violations in Alexandria.

However, he claims dealing with the problem is not always straightforward. Governor Labib told the Egyptian daily newspaper 'Al-Ahram': "Owners often bring influential people to reside in the apartments to protect the buildings from demolition orders".

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