Shopping mall collapses in Ghana

2012-11-07 15:10

Accra - A multiple-storey shopping mall collapsed on Wednesday in the Ghanaian capital Accra and dozens of victims were feared trapped in the rubble, witnesses and an AFP correspondent said.

One employee at the scene who declined to be named estimated around 40 workers in the building when it collapsed, though he was not sure about the number of customers.

Family members could be seen at the site attempting to call relatives who may be trapped by mobile phone, while scores of rescue workers at the scene sought to clear debris and get oxygen masks to victims.

An AFP correspondent witnessed four people being brought out of the rubble alive. The cause of the collapse of the Melcom Shopping Centre was not immediately clear.

President John Dramani Mahama issued a brief statement through his Twitter account.

"My prayers are with the workers, shoppers and others who are trapped in the rubble of the collapsed Achimota Melcom building," it said.

Some time later another tweet from his account said he was suspending his election campaign ahead of 7 December polls due to the disaster.

Witness Ama Okyere told AFP that "I was very close to the mall because I was going to buy something, only for me to see the building coming down.

"I had to run for my life. I was so terrified. I believe there are lots of people trapped under this because this is a heavily patronised shopping mall in the area."

Another witness said he heard a bang followed by the building falling in.

"I was on my way to school and all of a sudden heard a big bang and people shouting, only for me to see that the shopping mall has collapsed," said another witness, John Owusu.

The building in the capital of the West African nation of some 20 million people includes a number of shops selling a variety of consumer goods.

  • frank.cornelissen.1 - 2012-11-07 15:22

    Who had the winning tender? Malema or On Point?

      tim.gordon.5011516 - 2012-11-07 16:11


      squeegee.pilot - 2012-11-07 16:39

      It seems that some have no compassion for the dozens trapped and possibly injured and dead. Easy to sit back and wag your finger, hope it doesn't happen to you...

  • thomas.williams.71653 - 2012-11-07 15:26

    build by Chinese?

  • frank.cornelissen.1 - 2012-11-07 15:27

    Seems News24 has something about Malema and On point being fingered? I say again, who had the winning tender, Malema or On Point??

  • llewellyn.slabbert1 - 2012-11-07 15:31

    Sound like the Chinese built it. or it was built with ISO West africa specs and standards as I have witnessed over the last few years~!

  • DrGonzoSA - 2012-11-07 15:34

    I lived in Ghana for a while. There was zero building code. It was not unusual to see people simply building extra floors onto buildings with no attempt to strengthen the foundations. I'm really not surprised by this.

      llewellyn.slabbert1 - 2012-11-07 15:37

      Exactly :) It's amazing what structures they erect up there and with what they do it.

      jan.vanniekerk.52 - 2012-11-07 15:56

      The building as a shopping center opened in January 2010 to headlines of "Melcom Opens New Branch In Accra". Not quite the construction boom they intended, I'm sure.

  • stirrer.stirrer - 2012-11-07 15:40

    Next time, use concrete. It works better than clay and camel dung.

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