Historical Archive Building Collapses COLOGNE, GERMANY - MARCH 03 2009
There has been no word on the condition of the collection, which includes manuscripts by Communist philosophers Karl Marx and Freidrich Engels.
Cracks and groaning noises from the basement of the building had alerted staff and visitors at the archive, all of whom escaped before it collapsed. Work was being carried out nearby on a new underground railway, but the company involved said there had been no recent tunnelling.
The six-storey building collapsed at about 1400 local time, bringing down two other neighbouring buildings. One witness said the scene resembled a Hollywood movie as cracks slowly spread up the building's facade before it collapsed in a cloud of dust.
There were reports that between two and four people were still missing underneath the rubble of the archive and two neighbouring buildings.
The archive building dated from the 1970s and contained 65,000 original documents, some of them dating back more than 1,000 years.