At least 24 people have died and 12 others have been injured after an apartment building in Egypt's coastal city of Alexandria collapsed, government officials say.

Abdel-Aziz Tawfeeq, assistant interior minister, said rescue teams were continuing their search for survivors under the rubble of the 12-storey building that collapsed.

Emergency teams have rescued 10 people but more are trapped under debris in the Maamura district. Most tenants were home early on Wednesday when the collapse occurred.

The cause of the building's collapse is yet to be established. But in the past violations of building specifications and poor maintenance have been blamed for similar accidents.

Local media said police have arrested the building's owner.

Mohammed Abbas Atta, governor of Alexandria, confirmed in an interview with Egypt's official news that the building had been constructed five years ago without a permit.

Housing minister Tarek Wafik said 318.000 buildings are built without license across Egypt, 14.500 of them in Alexandria

Second collapse

Another two people were killed when a three-storey building collapsed in the Nile Delta province of Daqahliya, a security official told the AFP news agency.

"A mother and her child were killed and eight others injured when the building collapsed," the official said, adding that an estimated 10 people were still under the rubble.

The collapses are likely to prompt a popular outcry against the administration of President Mohamed Morsi, whose critics say he has failed to carry out reforms and overhaul the nation's deteriorating public services.

A day earlier, 19 police conscripts were killed when the last carriage of the train they were riding on jumped the tracks and smashed into another train southwest of Cairo.

Source: Agencies