Tragedy in Marseille highlights ongoing housing crisis and urgent need for action

Two people have been found dead under the rubble of two buildings that collapsed after an explosion in the southern French city of Marseille on Sunday.[0] The city's fire department announced on Monday morning that rescuers had found the bodies. Five people were also injured, with serious but non-life-threatening injuries, and eight others are missing.[1] Approximately 30 surrounding buildings were evacuated, and nearly 200 people were forced to leave their homes.[0] The reason behind the explosion is currently unknown.[1] Marseille's mayor, Benoit Payan, has said that the incident was not due to structural issues and “has nothing to do” with the collapse of two houses on rue d'Aubagne in 2018, which killed eight people and exposed the city's long-standing housing problems.[1]

The disaster in 2018 shocked France, and the government promised to take urgent action to address the housing crisis in Marseille. However, little progress has been made, and the latest incident highlights the ongoing challenges facing the city. Marseille has a high population density, with many people living in old and poorly maintained buildings. The lack of investment in housing, combined with a shortage of affordable homes and a growing population, has led to a housing crisis that has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The explosion on Sunday has once again drawn attention to the urgent need for action to tackle the housing crisis in Marseille. President Emmanuel Macron tweeted his condolences and praised the efforts of firefighters and rescuers. However, many people in Marseille are calling for more action to be taken to address the underlying issues that have led to the crisis. There are concerns that without urgent action, further tragedies may occur in the future.

The investigation into the cause of the explosion is ongoing, but early reports suggest that it may have been caused by a gas leak. The incident has raised questions about the safety of gas infrastructure in Marseille, and there are calls for greater investment in the city's ageing infrastructure to prevent further disasters.

The tragedy in Marseille highlights the ongoing challenges facing many cities in France and around the world. The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the inequalities and vulnerabilities in our societies, and it is clear that urgent action is needed to address these issues. The housing crisis in Marseille is just one example of the many challenges that need to be addressed if we are to build more resilient and sustainable communities for the future.

0. “Two people are found dead trapped under rubble after explosion in France” Daily Mail, 9 Apr. 2023,

1. “Eight missing as explosion destroys Marseille building” msnNOW, 9 Apr. 2023,

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