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Ghana rescuers find more bodies

11 November 2012, 09:10

Accra - Rescuers at the site of a collapsed mall in Ghana on Saturday said they had identified six more bodies under the rubble, as an Israeli team providing technical support pulled out.

"The Israelis, after providing technical support and help in the rescue process are due to leave tonight (Saturday). So far 12 people have been confirmed dead," police spokesperson Freeman Tettey told AFP.

The team from Israel on Thursday joined the search at the site after the collapse of a six-storey Melcom mall building.

He said that rescuers had on Saturday seen six more bodies under the rubble.

"The rescuers can see six more people under the rubble. We don't know if they are alive or dead. Access to them is very difficult but hopefully, we will get to them because 50% of the rubble has been cleared so far. The search is continuing," he said.

Death toll

Two bodies were brought out late Friday, taking the death toll in the disaster from 10 to 12.

Rescuers had not pulled out anybody on Saturday, dead or alive, Tettey said.

Meanwhile, there was no news of one victim buried in the rubble who spoke to an official on a mobile phone on Friday and said that four people were trapped at a particular location.

Major Jonah Wiafi told journalists that he spoke by phone on Friday to a woman who informed him that four people were trapped at the location.

He said that rescuers have managed to pull 75 people from the rubble alive.

It was not clear how many people were inside the building when it collapsed ahead of opening time on Wednesday. Police had initially said around 50 employees worked there, but the number of people located has far exceeded that.

An official investigating the collapse said the building, which opened early this year, lacked a permit and cited structural failure as the cause, adding that the concrete mix used did not appear up to standard.

The Melcom Group of Companies, based in Ghana, includes extensive retail outlets, according to its website.


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