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Building Collapses in Africa, Kills 34

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

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Officials continued to search for answers Monday (April 1) as workers recovered dozens of bodies crushed in the collapse of a building under construction in Tanzania, Africa, according to numerous reports.

Children were reported to be among the 34 confirmed victims, as the 12-story building in the country’s economic capital city, Dar es Salaam, crashed down near a playground.

Tanzania building collapse
Muhidin Michuzi / YouTube

Videos from the scene show workers combing through the concrete and steel rubble for victims. Thirty-four people, including children, were confirmed dead.

Officials said Monday morning that rescue operations were near completion and that workers had little hope of finding more survivors amidst the concrete and twisted steel rubble.

The cause of the collapse was unknown Monday afternoon.

Death Toll Likely to Rise

Various reports indicate that about 60 or 70 people were thought to be in the vicinity of the unoccupied building when it fell about 8:30 a.m. Friday (March 30).

At least 18 were said to have been rescued after the collapse.

"The bodies being recovered now have started to decompose … so we want to conclude this exercise as soon as possible to allow funeral arrangements to take place,” Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner Saidi Mecky Sadicky told Reuters Monday morning.

“I thought there was an earthquake, and then I heard screaming,” a witness told local media outlets. “The whole building fell on itself.”

Cause Probed

The building was a joint project between the state-owned National Housing Corporation and Ladha Construction Limited, according to news bureaus.

Authorities have also detained several people in connection with the collapse, reports note. Some reports suggested that those detained included building owners and construction company officials, but this could not be confirmed.

Building collapses are said to be common in some African nations. Tanzania's growing economy has prompted a building construction boom in Dar es Salaam in recent years, but the speed of construction has raised concerns about safety standards, reports note.

   

Tagged categories: Accidents; Commercial Construction; Construction; Design; Fatalities; Health and safety

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