BEIRUT: Two Sudanese men who survived this weekend’s building collapse in Ashrafieh are in General Security custody because of their immigration status.
Sources told The Daily Star that al-Tayyeb Daoud Ismail Idris and Ismail Ismail were injured in the incident and taken to Geitawi’s St. George Hospital, and have since been arrested by General Security because they are in the country illegally.
Sudan’s general consul to Lebanon, Samir Batbout, confirmed that Idris and Ismail are in General Security custody, and said that three other Sudanese survivors of the collapse are still in the hospital.
Twenty-seven people were killed and nearly 40 were injured when the Fassouh building collapsed Sunday evening. Interior Minister Marwan Charbel confirmed Tuesday that among the dead were 16 foreign nationals.
The search for survivors was officially called off Tuesday, and Charbel said that there had been “people of foreign nationality missing who did not have legal residence permits in the country and this is why they were afraid to contact the authorities.”
The building was home to more than 20 Sudanese, as well as Lebanese and nationals from the Philippines, Egypt and Jordan.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on January 20, 2012, on page 3.