Israel to join Ghana mall collapse rescue

2012-11-08 11:41
Rescue workers remove rubble from the remainder of a collapsed building in Accra, Ghana. (Laura Burke, AP)

Rescue workers remove rubble from the remainder of a collapsed building in Accra, Ghana. (Laura Burke, AP)

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Accra - A team from Israel is expected in Ghana on Thursday to help search for survivors or victims after the collapse of a six-storey mall, with three deaths confirmed and 51 people rescued alive so far.

Ghana's presidency announced the arrival of the 18-strong team from Israel in a statement following Wednesday's collapse of the Melcom shopping centre in the capital Accra, which sparked desperate rescue attempts.

"The team will make an initial assessment of the site using special equipment and sniffer dogs that will help identify the locations of possible survivors or corpses," the statement from President John Dramani Mahama's office said.

"An additional team of about 150 with additional equipment including field hospitals, concrete cutters, among others, are on standby to move to Ghana should the initial assessment deem it necessary."

The statement said that at least 51 people had so far been rescued alive from the rubble.

Police had said about 50 employees worked at the building, but it has not been determined how many people were inside at the time of the collapse, which was said to have occurred ahead of opening time.

Mahama has suspended his campaign for the 7 December presidential and parliamentary elections in the West African nation and ordered a probe into the collapse, with the cause yet to be determined.

Read more on:    john dramani mahama  |  ghana  |  west africa  |  search and rescue
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