April 1, 2013 / 9:09 AM / 6 years ago

Death toll hits 36 in Tanzania building collapse

DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) - The death toll from the collapse of a multi-storey building in Tanzania rose to 36 on Monday, a senior police chief said, after more bodies were pulled from the rubble of the building which was under construction near the centre of Dar es Salaam.

Police said it was unlikely more bodies would be recovered from the site in the Kariakoo district where rescue workers had cleared most of the debris and reached the basement of the building that collapsed on Friday morning.

“The final death toll from the collapse of the building is 36 ... 18 people survived the fall of the building,” Dar es Salaam regional police commander, Suleiman Kova, told Reuters.

Tanzania’s buoyant economy has fuelled a building boom, especially in Kariakoo and the city centre, but the speed of construction has raised concerns about safety standards.

The building, which reached more than 12 storeys high, was under construction near a mosque in Kariakoo. Several cars were crushed when it collapsed and boys playing football nearby were among the dead.

Kova said police had called off the rescue operation, and nine people had been arrested as part of their investigation into the incident.

“The investigation is still ongoing, those found responsible for the collapse of the building and the resulting deaths will face criminal charges,” he said.

He earlier said the incident was the biggest building collapse in the country’s history.

Reporting by Fumbuka Ng'wanakilala; Writing by James Macharia; Editing by Sophie Hares

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