UPDATE 1-Four killed as Sicilian apartment buildings collapse

(Updates death toll, number of injured people, adds comment

from firefighter)

ROME, Dec 18 (Reuters) - Four people were killed and at

least seven were injured when an apartment block collapsed onto

another overnight in Palermo's historical city centre, Sicilian

emergency services said on Tuesday.

The accident is the latest of several similar incidents in

Italy, where illegal construction and lax building standards are

rife. The building that collapsed had a newly added top floor.

Firefighters and police discovered the bodies of two men

aged 54 and 82 during initial searches, and later on Tuesday

morning rescued a girl from the rubble.

Searches during the day found the bodies of two women aged

80 and 74. Seven people were slightly injured, Italian media

reported.

"We heard creaking and stones slipping, and instinctively we

got out of the building," a woman who lived in one of the

buildings told reporters.

Gaetano Vallefuoco, head of the firefighters in Palermo,

told reporters the collapse was due to structural problems and

was not due to a gas leak.

(Writing by Naomi O'Leary and Catherine Hornby; Editing by

Louise Ireland)

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