Workers dig for survivors as suburban shopping mall collapses in Ghana

Three people died and at least 50 people were trapped after a department store in Ghana’s capital, Accra, collapsed.

The victims are ‘‘mainly workers"  Winfred Tesiah, director of operations at the National Disaster Management Organization said.

"We have rescued 40," he said.

It's believed there were around 50 people inside the six-storey Melcom shopping mall at the time of the accident.

The multistorey building in the northern suburb of Achimota housed a Melcom department store, one of a chain of closely held shops in the West African nation, which has the region’s second- biggest economy. No one answered the phone at the company’s head office.

The police, army and fire service officers are using excavators in the ongoing rescue operation.


‘‘We are still working with the fire service and the ambulance units to retrieve as many survivors as possible,’’ Gloria Donkor, an official with the Ghana Police public affairs directorate, said in an interview.

The police, army and fire service were carrying out rescue operations with the help of excavators.

Hundreds of people surrounded the site, initially hindering rescue operations, according to local media, but Tasia said they had managed to cordon off the area.

Touring the site, Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur declared the Melcom collapse a national disaster. President John Dramani Mahama suspended his election campaign tour following the accident.

AAP and agencies