Monday 17 December 2018

17 killed in rubbish dump collapse in Mozambique

The waste rose to the height of a three-storey building, according to a Portuguese news agency.

Rescuers search for survivors at the collapse of a rubbish mound in Maputo, Mozambique (Ferhat Momade/AP)
Rescuers search for survivors at the collapse of a rubbish mound in Maputo, Mozambique (Ferhat Momade/AP)

By Christopher Torchia, Associated Press

Heavy rains have triggered the partial collapse of a huge mound of rubbish in Mozambique’s capital, killing 17 people who were buried by debris.

Authorities believe more bodies could be buried at the Hulene rubbish dump on the outskirts of Maputo.

The waste in the poor, densely populated area where the disaster happened rose to the height of a three-storey building, according to the Portuguese news agency Lusa.

Lusa and Radio Mocambique both reported 17 deaths.

The mountains of rubbish collapsed on the houses and many families were still inside these residences Fatima Belchior, national disaster official

Half a dozen homes were destroyed and some residents in the area fled for fear of another collapse.

“The mountains of rubbish collapsed on the houses and many families were still inside these residences,” Fatima Belchior, a national disaster official, told Lusa.

Authorities are trying to help people who lost their homes, she said.

The Hulene rubbish dump is the largest such facility in Maputo.

People often comb through the waste, searching for food and items to sell.

Health workers have long raised concerns about the impact of the fumes, flies and other hazards of the dump on the surrounding community, while municipal officials have previously discussed the closure of the dump.

Press Association

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