COLOGNE, GERMANY — Cologne's six-story city archive building groaned and then collapsed in a pile of rubble Tuesday as people inside fled in panic. All managed to escape safely, but police said three people were feared missing in other damaged buildings nearby.
The archive building collapsed about 2 p.m., ripping open and dragging down parts of two adjacent buildings that contained apartments and an amusement arcade. A huge cloud of dust enveloped the site.
Parents at a nearby fast-food outlet grabbed their children and ran for their cars.
"I heard a giant bang and then suddenly saw this giant gray dust cloud," said Mustafa Goresme, 18, who watched from the restaurant. "It was like a Hollywood film."
Alerted by rumbling sounds that preceded the collapse, all staff members and visitors at the Cologne archive were able to get out in time without injuries, fire department director Stephan Neuhoff said.