|Jengo Lingine linalojengwa na Mkandarasi yule yule Anayehusika na jengo iliyoanguka JuziMjini Dar\es Salaam|
Fresh scare prevents JK from rescue site
31st March 2013
Death toll now 22, two more people arrested
President Jakaya Kikwete
The president, who was scheduled to visit the tragic site for the second time yesterday, failed to arrive at the area after rumours spread that another building owned by the same person and constructed by the same contactor could also collapse.
President Kikwete was scheduled to arrive at the site around mid-day but his security officers detailed him some 60 metres away from the rescue area.
However, Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda had earlier visited the area, where he hailed rescuers for their efforts.
Another briefing he received from the Dar es Salaam Special Zone Police Commander SACP Suleiman Kova who told him the entire situation as was normal as rescuers were intact carrying on their duties. President Kikwete in turn thanked the TPDF soldiers and other rescuing organizations for their devotion they had shown as they carried out the rescue work overnight.
As the operations is going on, the government has ordered people who are living close to the remaining 16th building owned by the same owner of the ill-fated structure to vacate their premises for their safety following reports that, the twin building is likely to cause a danger in future.
However, the Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner Said Meck Sadiq issued the order yesterday which up to now almost many people who had hired the residential apartments close to the feared building have vacated.
One of the residents in the area, Amir Khan of the Asian origin told The Guardian yesterday at the are that, he is appealing to the government to do quick investigations on the building and if possible it should be destroyed for the safety of the people around.
Meanwhile, before we go to press, the SACP Suleiman Kova held a press conference at the site later in the evening at around 14:30 hours and said that, so far six people are being held by the police for interrogation in connection with the matter.
He said two more people yesterday surrendered themselves to the police upon hearing their search through media organs. He named them as the owner of the Lucky Construction company Mohammed Kisoke aged 59 years whom he said is the councilor of the Kinondoni Municipal Council for Goba in Kinondoni district, Dar es Salaam region.
He also named another one as Zonazea Anange Bushudada aged 53 who is the consulting engineer of the SOU Consulting firm based in Dar es Salaam that was involved in all details about the structural designs of the building.
However, he further noted that, the police is interrogating one person an officer from the National Housing Corporation (NHC) whom he didn’t mention and noted that, the police is need of his explanations to help investigate the matter as he was involved in the signing of the contracts as the national firm had a stake of 25 percent on the building.
In addition to the already apprehended culprits, Commander Kova has issued an order for the architect of the NHA Limited, the firm which he said did the drawings as well as all those who in one way or another were involved in the construction to surrender immediately.
According to him, the construction of the collapsed building which stood on plot number 1662/75 had been given a permit for construction when it was agreed that, it was supposed to have 10 storey on its completion. But to the great dismay, other 6 storey had been added by whose authority, he queried.
In view of this, his police force would ensure that, thorough investigations are carried by help of other national boards for contractors and engineers to get the matter confirmed with authentic details.
Commander Kova is on the view of the fact that, the two National Boards would help to carry a soil test for the debris which he s aid has already been taken for hammer test to a disclosed scientist who he couldn’t mention as it is too earlier and moreover for security purposes.
He said owners of the constructing company is held also for other reasons which he said that, he had failed to report the incident since its occurrence as per the law that required him to do so.
He also said that, about 22 bodies have been retrieved from the scene since the rescue operation started that morning on Friday, and out of these 8 bodies have been identified. He added that, the government would finance the purchase of shrouds and coffins for the dead ones.
However, he further noted that, 17 people who sustained injuries are still in hospital receiving medical treatment.
Meanwhile, the Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner Said Meck Sadiq has cautioned Dar es Salaam residents and Tanzanians as a whole to be patient as the government is closely working to find out the right cause of the accident and will be getting updating information in connection with the issue.
“This is a national disaster and I am appealing to all people not to take any loophole and disengage in any matters that would disrupt investigations which the government has started to collect in order to get the truth of the matter” he said and insisted people to be calm as this is being worked out.
The Friday’s accident could be the worst tragedy involving four series of the collapse of high-rise buildings in the country since independence time. On August, 1987 a four-storey building under construction collapsed along Msimbazi Street, killing seven people.
In 2006, a three-storey building in Chang’ombe area collapsed, injuring several people. Former Prime Minister Edward Lowassa formed a team to investigate the incident but its findings and recommendations are yet to be made public to date.
In 2008, a ten-storey building along Mtendeni Street in Kisutu area also collapsed, injuring some individuals.
In another development, relatives of the people who died from the collapsed building have so far identify only eight bodies of their loved ones – but difficulties of identity could force the government bury them without traditional rites.
“I’ve been here since yesterday looking for the body of my father who died in this building ,,, I have yet to identify his body, ” said Noel Eliakim
Noel is not alone. Abdalh Salehe who is also at the MNH to identify his father, says he failed to recognize his body because he felt confused after seeing so many mutilated bodies.
“ … it is very hard to recognize your beloved one because some of them have no heads … so you have to look at other parts like legs to identify him or her … but some of them have neither legs nor heads … they are completely destroyed,” Salehe complained
Meanwhile, the Deputy Minister for Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Seif Rashid, who visited the MNH yesterday said four of the eight victims admitted at the hospital were discharged yesterday.
Dr. Rashid, however, explained there could be more casualties.