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General News of Thursday, 8 November 2012

Source: myjoyonline.com

Melcom disaster survivors accuse management of negligence

Some staff of the Achimota branch of Melcom who survived this morning's collapse of the multi storey shopping complex, have accused their managers of negligence leading to the disaster which claimed the lives of three people.

According to the surviving staff, they noticed and saw cracks in some of the pillars at the shop three days ago and reported to their supervisors who told them, the pillars only needed plastering and nothing more. Three days on, they are shocked at the enormity of the resulting disaster.

Rescue workers and members of the public have been working tirelessly since morning to rescue victims from the rubble of what would go down in history as one of Accra's darkest days. Fortunately some of these victims have already been rescued and are receiving treatment at various hospitals in Accra.

We joined President Mahama during his visit to the Achimota hospital to console the victims. Some of the victims told Joy News they saw cracks in the pillars about three days ago.

But not only victims were sent to the hospital. A woman at the Achimota Hospital was brought in after she collapsed while crying out for her cousin who was trapped in the collapsed building.

Call it sheer luck but some staff were fortunate not to have reported for work at the time.

Families and friends are still trooping in to various hospitals to check on their loved ones. Some of the victims could not hide their emotions when they reunited with their relatives.

At the 37 Military Hospital, we chanced upon the arrival of one of the victims. The media was however not allowed to enter the wards to talk to victims. A group gathered at the 37 Military Hospital told our News Team that their sister was one of the first to be rescued but at the time of speaking to us, they didn't know where she was.

We also saw some big wigs of Melcom gathered with a list. Upon inquiry we were informed that the paper they had was a list of the staff at the Achimota branch and they were cross-checking it against those who have been rescued.

They however declined to speak on camera to the news team. The owner of Melcom Ghana Ltd accompanied by other officials of the company arrived at the 37 Military Hospital at 6:20pm to visit the victims.

Joy news will bring you more on the incident as it unfolds.

Meanwhile as rescue teams continue to comb the rubble for more survivors, a former TOR worker thinks the disaster response team is going about their business the wrong way.

Joseph Owusu Agyei is proposing a better way of dealing with the rescue operation rather than using excavators, as has been done over the 8 hour period since the rescue operation started.

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