The victim has not yet been officially identified, but according to the emergency services, everything suggests that it is this man, whose car is parked on site, who did not show up for his appointments and whose telephone “limited” in the area.
The Calais hospital center, where this doctor, Dr. Alexandre Klein, officiated, published a press release on Sunday morning to announce his “accidental death”. “A tribute will be organized” in memory of the one who was head of the Mental Health and Addiction Center, it is specified.
According to the first elements of the investigation, he is a 45-year-old psychiatrist, who left Calais to go to Reims and who had been lent an apartment by friends to spend the night in Lille, said to AFP the prosecutor of the Republic of Lille, Carole Etienne.
But the body found, “transported to the forensic institute”, must still be formally identified, she insisted.
– “Manslaughter” –
According to the socialist mayor of Lille, Martine Aubry, a decree of imminent danger had been taken for one of the two collapsed buildings, which the firefighters had decided to evacuate during the night from Friday to Saturday after the report of a resident.
But when it collapsed on Saturday around 9:15 a.m., this building dragged down an adjoining building, in which this doctor was. Her presence in the building was not brought to the attention of the emergency services until late Saturday morning, she explained to AFP.
The victim was located around 1:30 a.m. Sunday morning, then extracted at the end of the night, after hours of searching in the huge pile of metal and bricks on rue Pierre-Mauroy, where the two three-storey buildings collapsed, a shopping street close to the Grand Place.
The investigation opened on Saturday for “endangering the lives of others” was extended to the count of “manslaughter”, said the prosecutor of Lille. It “aims to determine the responsibilities on the state of the building”, in particular “the knowledge that the owners could have”.
The Minister Delegate for Housing, Olivier Klein, who will travel to Lille on Monday, said on Saturday that the building was not “stricken with insalubrity”.
Forensic experts, accompanied by city services, visited half a dozen neighboring buildings on Sunday morning, evacuated on Saturday, to check their stability. But “no element” raises fears of the possible collapse of another building, underlined Ms. Aubry.
– “Hard to achieve” –
“The rescue operations”, which mobilized 80 firefighters and more than 40 machines, “are over”, said Sunday morning the firefighters of the North on Twitter, reporting a final assessment of a deceased person and another rescued .
The toll could have been much higher if a student had not alerted the municipal police and firefighters overnight from Friday to Saturday, allowing the evacuation of a dozen residents, after noting that his “building had moved” and that a wall was ripped open.
“I still have a little trouble realizing that, suddenly, I escaped my own death, that of my friends, that of strangers who were perhaps passing there, because rue Pierre-Mauroy is very busy”, told Europe 1 the young man, Thibault Lemay.
“He obviously deserves to be hailed, he avoided a much bigger drama,” government spokesman Olivier Véran said on BFMTV on Sunday.
“The firefighters started pounding on the doors, but I thought they were revelers and I stayed in bed,” evacuee resident Benjamin Lopard, 35, told AFP.
“When the police arrived, I realized it was serious,” continues this young man, who left around 5:30 a.m. on Saturday with his papers, his computer and a change of clothes. “I now realize how incredibly lucky we were,” he says: without this evacuation “we would all be in wooden boxes”.