At least 19 dead in Tanzania building collapse

Sunday, March 31, 2013 - 12:01am

Two more bodies were pulled Saturday from the rubble of a 16-story building that collapsed Friday in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, bringing the total to at least 19, an official said.

In addition, police detained three engineers for questioning in the incident, said Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner Said Meck Sadick.

Some 30 people were feared trapped under debris, the Tanzania Red Cross Society said in a statement issued prior to the latest grim discoveries.

The building was under construction when it crumbled Friday morning in the center of the business capital, the society said. Three of the fatalities were children.

This Khoja mosque, next to the rubble, said two children remained trapped. "We pray that we will be successful in finding them well," the mosque said in a statement that noted that funerals and prayers were being held Saturday.

Seven of the 14 people who were rescued remained in hospitals Saturday; the rest were discharged, the society said.

The building collapsed Friday with a "huge whoosh and then thump," said Ali Jawad Bhimani, a hotel owner who lives near the building in Dar es Salaam's normally bustling Kariakoo central business district.

"The fallen building is next to our mosque. There is a small field there where the young boys play football. The building fell right on top," he said Friday. "But 10 to 15 of the boys playing got away safely and are unharmed."

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