At least 22 people died and 11 others were injured when a building collapsed in the Egyptian city of Alexandria, on the Mediterranean coast, the state-run Mena news agency reported.

Mena, citing the head of Civil Protection in Alexandria, Gen. Emad Khaier, said that rescue crews continue searching for victims in the rubble.

A member of the security forces told Efe that the eight-story building had 24 apartments in it and collapsed about 6 a.m. (0400 GMT), adding that it is thought that between 75 and 100 people were inside it at the time.

The news agency reported that several children, including an 18-month-old girl, were among the dead.

The injured were taken to local hospitals.

The governor of Alexandria, Mohammed Abbas Ata, told the news agency that the building, constructed five years ago, according to the daily Al Ahram, was erected without the proper permit.

Building collapses are frequent occurrences in Egypt, particularly in residential areas where, as local media have repeatedly complained, builders do not adhere to strict safety measures and official inspections are not rigorous.

Last July, 15 people died when three houses collapsed in Alexandria.

This tragedy comes a day after 19 army recruits lost their lives and 107 were injured in a train accident near Cairo that has sparked harsh criticism of the authorities by the media and the public over the country's aging infrastructure. EFE