Five French soldiers and two Lebanese workmen died when a war-damaged apartment block in Beirut they were trying to demolish collapsed on them.
GV AND CU Collapsed building with rescue workers in attendance. (3 SHOTS)
LONG VIEW ZOOM IN AND SVs French troops sift through concrete rubble to search for survivors. (3 SHOTS)
CU Soldier with rifle shifts lump of concrete.
SV PULL BACK TO LV Rescue workers haul on a cable.
SV AND CU Bulldozer assists in rescue work. (2 SHOTS)
CU French Ambassador, M. Paul-Marc Henri, arrives at scene and comments.
GV Rescue workers stand on rubble.
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Background: Five French soldiers and two Lebanese workmen died when a war-damaged apartment block in Beirut they were trying to demolish collapsed on them. Another French soldier and two other Lebanese workers were pulled from the wreckage alive. One other person, believed to be a soldier, was still missing 24 hours after the collapse on July 6. The Frenchmen were part of the four-nation peacekeeping force in Lebanon. After the incident, the French Ambassador, M. Paul-Marc Henri, went immediately to the scene to supervise the search for survivors which was carried out among the piles of heavy concrete rubble by other French troops. Their work was hampered by twisted steel pylons among the debris, but they were assisted by a bulldozer which moved some of the huge concrete blocks precariously balanced on top of each other. One burly paratrooper with a rope tied round his ankles, even tried to burrow into a gap between broken slabs to search for signs of life but was forced to give up after several attempts. The soldiers who died, engineers from a Foreign Legion parachute regiment, had been planting explosives to bring down the building in a controlled blast when it collapsed on to them. According to local residents, the building had been structurally unsound since last year's Israeli invasion.