General News of Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Source: Kojo Smith

Update: Melcom Collapse; 4 dead, 50 feared trapped

Four of the nine retrieved persons in the six-storey collapsed Melcom shopping mall at Achimota, have been confirmed dead at the Police Hospital.

Over 50 people, mainly staff of Melcom, are feared trapped in the rubble as rescue officials made up of the Police, Military, Fire Service and the National Ambulance Service are working around the clock to save lives.

The trapped persons were said to be undergoing their routine morning devotion (worship) when the disaster struck at 9.15am.

According to eye witnesses, the six-storey building collapsed after an explosion, injuring workers, shoppers and pedestrians and cracking windscreens of nearby vehicles.

Information gathered on the ground has it that, there were several workers and dozens of shoppers within the newly-built shopping complex before it collapsed.

Scores of high ranking police and fire service personnel and some government officials including the Mayor of Accra, Alfred Oko Vanderpuye, are currently at the scene with excavators to rescue the trapped people as well as clear the rubble.

The 48 Engineering Regiment of the Ghana Armed Forces is also at the scene to help with rescue operation.

Moments after the news broke, President John Dramani Mahama twittered: "My prayers are with the workers, shoppers and others who are trapped in the rubble of the collapsed Achimota Melcom building."
Several people are trapped beneath the debris as five ambulances from the National Ambulance Service are also on standby to save lives.

However Melcom has released a statement on its wall explaining that the building was rented from one Nana Boadu for ten years.

Read full statement below:

A most unfortunate incident happened this morning. The building which houses our Achimota Branch has collapsed. 

We rented the Building from Nana Boadu for ten years.

This is indeed a very tragic incident and we fear that there will be loss of life.

We are doing everything possible to see that help reaches those who need it. Our heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathies goes to the families
 of those who may have lost their lives. 


Melcom Limited.

Melcom Limited is Ghana's largest chain of retail department stores. The six-storey at Achimota was recently opened for operations and is considered one of the ultramodern edifices in Accra.

Watch video below:

GhanaWeb's Victor Adeyemi says he has seen several people being pulled from the rubble