Structural collapses are one of the accidents that those in the construction fear most because it can happen unexpectedly, injure unsuspecting workers sometimes fatally and set work on the site back dramatically. One such incident occurred in Dar es Salaam in Tanzania recently and resulted in the death of at least 2 workers.
The tragedy occurred when a building under construction collapsed and trapped dozens of people under the rubble. Workers involved with the construction of the building were not the only ones affected, it is suspected that pedestrians nearby may have also been involved including children playing nearby.
It is thought that the building was at least 16 stories high when it collapsed and the exact number of people trapped is not yet known by police but it is feared that it may be dozens, even up to 60 including nearby street vendors and children
An article from News.com.au below explains more:
Residents were seen trying to rescue those trapped by digging through the rubble of the building, which was believed to have 16 floors.
Dar es Salaam regional police chief Suleiman Kova said the rescue operation was “going well”.
“So far we have managed to retrieve 19 people. Two of them are dead and are two seriously injured,” he said as he briefed Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete on the accident.
Kikwete, who visited the scene, posted messages of condolence on his Twitter account.
“We pray for those who have ben afflicted by this tragedy. We pray for togetherness in this time of need,” Kikwete said.
Dozens of people were reportedly working in and around the building at the time of the collapse, but their exact number was not immediately known.
SaidiMeckySadiky, the Dar es Salaam regional commissioner, said up to 60 people, including workers, food vendors and children could have been around the area.
This type of incident is however not uncommon. The structural integrity of buildings seems to be an issue that many in the industry are grappling with especially overseas. A similar incident just recently occurred in India.
Indian authorities have vowed to crack down on illegal construction after almost 80 people, including 30 children, were killed when a building collapsed in Mumbai.
The building’s construction was apparently rushed by unscrupulous builders and city officials who were bribed to turn a blind eye to building safety codes. It took just a mere 45 days for the building to be completed. Police have arrested 2 builders and the city officials who accepted the bribes.
The following excerpt is a heart-breaking reminder of the cost of such an incident, taken from Abc.net.au
Like many of the people who lived in the building, Imran Khan made a meagre income running a small shop.
“I had bought space in the building to set up a shop. But now all of that is gone,” he said.
“My family all died in the collapse: my wife and my two children.
“I have nothing now.”
The building collapse has highlighted poor building standards in India. Huge demand for housing and pervasive corruption means cost-cutting often occurs and safety inspections are not carried out.
It is almost impossible to estimate how many buildings are constructed illegally in India.
“My family all died in the collapse: my wife and my two children. I have nothing now.”