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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 August 2007, 12:12 GMT 13:12 UK
Building collapses in Azerbaijan
The site of the wreckage
Officials say that the construction company flouted safety standards
A 14-storey building under construction in Azerbaijan's capital has collapsed, killing at least five people.

Rescue workers have been searching for survivors trapped under tonnes of rubble since the building fell across a road in Baku on Tuesday.

Emergency services have pulled four people out alive from the wreckage so far, according to Reuters.

But a mobile phone call from a man trapped in the basement revealed that at least five others are still alive.

The exact number of survivors is unclear, with some reports suggesting that there were 10 people trapped in the basement.

There have also been conflicting reports on the number of people who have been killed.

Safety measures were not observed during construction
Prosecutor-General Zakir Qaralov

Two construction workers believed to have died were determined to be alive when they arrived at hospital, health ministry spokeswoman Samaya Mammadova told the Associated Press news agency.

A BBC News website reader said he saw dozens of people covered in dust emerging from the site of the building's collapse.

Baku city prosecutor Aziz Seidov told reporters that initial evidence pointed to shoddy construction work as the cause of the collapse.

High-rise buildings are springing up across the Azeri capital, thanks to a construction boom fuelled by the oil industry.


Local media have said that much of the construction is of a poor and in violation of safety standards.

They also say developers bypass building regulations by bribing corrupt officials.

Baku mayor Hajibala Abutalybov told the Reuters news agency the building that collapsed was being built without official permission.

The head of the construction company and another company executive have been arrested, Prosecutor-General Zakir Qaralov told the Associated Press news agency.

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