The death toll from a collapsed apartment block in the Belgian city of Liege has risen to nine.

The number of dead is expected to rise when the stalled search resumes later today.

Rescue efforts have been suspended because of fears that more buildings in the area could fall down.

A suspected gas leak caused the building to collapse onto the street yesterday, damaging adjoining buildings and shattering windows.

Belgian media reported that 21 people were injured in the collapse, three of them seriously.

One girl was pulled out alive from the rubble early yesterday afternoon.

Firefighters suspended rescue efforts because of fears other buildings could collapse.

Workers were seeking to stabilise the neighbouring blocks to allow the search to continue.

Belgian Interior Minister Annemie Turtelboom told parliament 'We are thinking that the death toll could rise to between 15 and 20'.