April 23, 2024 3:05 pm





Tragedy Strikes as Death Toll Climbs to 33 in Cameroon Building Collapse

A day after at least 33 people died when a building collapsed in Cameroon’s business hub Douala, neighbours recalled Monday the structure’s “failings” and “cracks”, fearing more bodies lie under the ruins.

The collapse of a four-storey block of flats onto another residential building in Douala has resulted in one of the worst tragedies in the country’s history. It left 33 people dead and 21 injured, with the toll expected to rise. Neighbours who witnessed the collapse described the building as showing signs of “failings” and “cracks”, raising concerns that there may be more victims still buried under the rubble.

Rescuers were still trying to clear the rubble with a digger after seeking survivors throughout Sunday and into Monday, a resident told AFP.

Rescue efforts are currently underway as authorities continue to search for survivors and victims buried beneath the debris. The use of heavy machinery is aiding in the recovery efforts.

“The situation is under control and firefighters are working to ensure no one remains under the rubble,” Littoral region governor Samuel Dieudonne Ivaha Diboua said Sunday during a visit to the site.

Governor Samuel Dieudonne Ivaha Diboua assured the public that the situation is being handled, with firefighters diligently working to ensure that no one remains trapped under the rubble.

Douala’s Laquintinie hospital on Sunday said it had taken in 13 patients, two of whom — a three-year-old girl and a woman aged 19 — had died.

Laquintinie hospital in Douala has received a total of 13 patients from the incident, unfortunately, resulting in the deaths of a three-year-old girl and a 19-year-old woman.

“The toll could still go up,” said computer scientist Prosper Tchinda, who was one of the first on the scene on Sunday.

Computer scientist Prosper Tchinda, who witnessed the incident first-hand, fears that the death toll may rise further as the rescue and recovery efforts continue.

  1. “There was one survivor who got out with just scratches and we found a baby safe and sound,” he told AFP by telephone.

Amidst the tragedy, there are moments of hope as one survivor emerged with only minor injuries. Additionally, a baby was found unharmed amidst the wreckage, providing a glimmer of hope amidst the devastation.

Nathalie, who also lives in the area but did not want to give her full name, described the building as in a poor state with “failings”.

A resident named Nathalie, who prefers to remain anonymous, described the building as being in a dilapidated condition, emphasizing its structural “failings”.

“There were cracks in the wall and we felt it could collapse at any time,” she said. “It was not the sort of place you would want to live in.”

Nathalie further explained that the building displayed visible cracks in its walls, leading to concerns among the residents that it was at risk of collapsing. She stated that it was not regarded as a safe place to live.

Tchinda said he was “very worried”. “There are so many buildings that don’t meet the standards. Each one goes up built any how without any checks. “You have the impression that the appropriate services at city hall are not doing their job,” he added.

Tchinda expressed deep concerns, highlighting the inadequate construction standards in many buildings. He criticized the lack of proper checks and oversight during the construction process, suggesting that the relevant authorities are not effectively carrying out their responsibilities.

Similar incidents have occurred in Douala before, with five people losing their lives in a building collapse in 2016. In that case, authorities attributed the cause to poor maintenance and violations of building regulations. Local authorities had previously identified 500 buildings at risk of collapsing in June of that year.

News Source: TimesLIVE

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