Ghana: Melcom Disaster Claim 14

Lieutenant Commander Vida Arhin of the Ghana Armed Forces Public Relations Directorate has cautioned the media not to inflate the number of people who died when the Achimota branch of Melcom Shopping Mall collapsed.

She said, so far 14 people have perished in the disaster, and not 25 as being reported by some media houses.

Lt Cmdr Arhin told a press briefing in Accra at the weekend that 68 people have rescued from the rubble alive. She said the rescue team pulled out two cash safes from the rubble and handed them over to the management of Melcom.

Lt Cmdr Arhin said work continued throughout the night with stakeholders making coordinated efforts to remove the debris in order to have access to areas where they suspect there could be human presence.

"As at this morning (Sunday), a considerable amount of the debris has been cleared from the top of the rubble, with several concrete slabs peeled off", she said. She said so far 70 per cent of the debris had been cleared and acknowledged the efforts of volunteers and stakeholder organizations for their contributions towards the rescue efforts.

Donations continued to pour in from well meaning individuals and organizations, including Kingsby Hotel, which donated 150 packs of cooked rice and nine bottles of water, and Alhaji Issah Mohammed, who is the Ofankor-Asafo-Lomnava Zongo Chief who donated 50 bags of sachet water and 300 packs of cooked rice.

A six- storey building which used to house the Mall collapsed on November 7 trapping unspecified number of persons.

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