Dozens trapped as Tz building caves in

Dar es salaam. At least two people were confirmed dead after a building under construction collapsed yesterday in Tanzania’s economic capital of Dar es Salaam, police said.
Rescuers dig the rubbles in search of survivors at the scene of the caved in building.   Net photo.
Rescuers dig the rubbles in search of survivors at the scene of the caved in building. Net photo.

Dar es salaam. At least two people were confirmed dead after a building under construction collapsed yesterday in Tanzania’s economic capital of Dar es Salaam, police said.

Dozens were feared trapped in rubble of the toppled building in an affluent area of the city as many people including children were working or playing nearby, witnesses said.

“I thought there was an earthquake and then I heard screaming. The whole building fell on itself,” witness Musa Mohamed told AFP.

Residents were seen trying to rescue those trapped by digging through the rubble of the building, which was believed to have 16 floors.

Dar es Salaam regional police chief Suleiman Kova said the rescue operation was “going well”.

“So far we have managed to retrieve 19 people. Two of them are dead and two others are seriously injured,” he said as he briefed Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete on the accident.

Kikwete, who visited the scene, posted messages of condolence on his Twitter account, saying: “We pray for those who have ben afflicted by this tragedy. We pray for togetherness in this time of need.”

Dozens of people were reportedly working in and around the building at the time of the collapse at around 8:45am, but their exact number was not immediately known.

Witnesses at the site, where some people were using their hands to pull away fallen masonry, said on Friday the building fell near where children had been playing, and many might be still trapped.

Saidi Mecky Sadiky, the Dar es Salaam regional commissioner, said up to 60 people, including workers, food vendors and children could have been around the area.

Other sources, however, said 15 bodies had been retrieved from the rubbles, information that was corroborated by a Tanzanian senior police officer.

“Fifteen bodies have been recovered from the rubble,” Al Jazeera reported Suleiman Kova, Dar es Salaam police commander, as telling reporters at the site.

“So far, only two people have been rescued alive, but the rescue operation is still ongoing.”

The building of 12 or more storeys fell in the Kariakoo district of the city, where a buoyant economy has fuelled a construction boom.

The accident occurred in an affluent area which has a mixture of both commercial and residential developments.

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