three years after the tragedy, the stigmata was still present on rue d’Aubagne

Stéphane Burgatt, in Marseille
, changed at

07:03 on 5 November 2021

On 5 November 2018, eight people died in the collapse of two buildings on rue d’Aubagne in Marseille. The city commemorates this disaster this Friday, while everything has not yet been resolved for the displaced since. Far from it.


The city of Marseille commemorates this Friday morning the drama of rue d’Aubagne, which took place on 5 November 2018. At that time, eight people had lost their lives in the collapse of two dilapidated buildings on this popular street in the Mediterranean city. This disaster showed the problem of unhygienic housing in the city. Temporarily or definitively, thousands of Marseillais have been displaced since this tragedy.

“Part of my life fell apart”

And three years later, the top of rue d’Aubagne retains the scars of the collapse. Frédéric Tchalian lived right in front of these buildings. As this memorial service approached, terrible memories returned. “I felt like a tremor. The walls vibrated, I opened the kitchen shutters, and there I saw this mountain of rubble,” he recalls. “It’s pictures that keep coming back and still haunt me. We had lived there for 30 years. I’ve done almost everything here. It’s part of my life that also fell apart that day. “

Impossible for Frédéric Tchalian to come back to stay here even if he has the permit. Today, only a hollow tooth remains at the site of the tragedy. All around are desolate buildings whose tenants are no longer there. There are only a few owner-residents left.

The feeling of abandonment of the last inhabitants

Virginia is one of them. She has been living a real nightmare for three years: “I was in the hotel for a year”, says this teacher. “It’s a struggle to be able to return to my home. We worked in terrible conditions, without water, without electricity, without access to the street. We still have no help to this day. Me, me, I’m all alone here. “It’s a deserted street, squatting in the evening. There’s young people screaming and a little traffic organized below.”

The owner has received several bad news: her home insurance has canceled her contract, she says she is desperate. Like another owner-occupant who has covered its facade with banners, the very last occupants at the top of rue d’Aubagne never stop shouting their sense of abandonment.

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