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Apartment building collapses in Alexandria

A block of flats has collapsed in the coastal Egyptian city of Alexandria, killing at least 25 people.

Others were injured as the eight-story building collapsed, reports said. The cause of the collapse is not yet clear.

The incident came a day after 19 conscripts were killed when a military train carrying new recruits derailed south of Egypt’s capital, Cairo,

That accident sparked several protests accusing the government of failing to overhaul Egypt’s aged public services.

Building collapses are not uncommon in Egypt because of lax building standards, analysts say.

The collapse happened in the early hours of Wednesday when most tenants were thought to be at home, reports said.

Alexandria’s security chief, police Maj Gen Abdel-Mawgood Lutfi, said the 24-flat block was built five years ago.

Rescue workers used mechanical diggers to search through the rubble for survivors, while neighbouring buildings were evacuated as a precaution.

Egypt’s Prime Minister Hisham Qandil visited the scene of Tuesday’s derailment but had to leave after being abused by bystanders angry at his government’s failure to improve railway safety and infrastructure.

Egypt’s roads and railways have a notoriously poor safety record.

Last November 50 children died when a train hit their school bus near Manfalut, 350km (230 miles) south of Cairo, after a signal operator fell asleep.