North Korean officials have offered a rare public apology for the collapse of an apartment building under construction in Pyongyang.

The word of the collapse in the secretive nation's ­capital was reported by the North's official Korean Central News Agency, which gave no death toll but said that the accident was "serious" and upset North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un.

The accident reportedly occurred in the capital's Phyongchon district. The 23-storey apartment building that collapsed was presumed to have housed 92 families.

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On the streets of Pyongyang yesterday, residents expressed outrage over the incident.

"This accident happened because they broke the rules and methods of construction," resident Pak Chol told The Associated Press.

"We must make sure that this kind of terrible accident never happens again."