Rescue workers have pulled an eighth body from the rubble of two dilapidated buildings which collapsed in the southern French city of Marseille, as residents were evacuated and nearby buildings inspected.

The second building had been condemned and boarded up because of safety risks, while a third partially collapsed during Monday’s search operation.

Dozens of residents on the Rue d’Aubagne were evacuated as workers carefully searched the site, fearful that more destabilised buildings would fall.

At one point the search was halted as two more buildings at risk of falling on rescuers were carefully torn down.

Angry residents and housing advocates plan to stage a silent march tomorrow afternoon, accusing the city of ignoring their warnings about worrisome cracks in their buildings and other risks.

But today Mayor Jean-Claude Gaudin again rejected claims his administration had ignored residents’ complaints, saying the city has been engaged in housing renewal projects for years.