Staff and volunteers work through the night to rescue people under a collapsed building

تم النشر: 4 أبريل 2013 17:47 CET

By Raymond Kanyambo, Tanzania Red Cross Society

It was early in the morning of 29 March, in the heart of Tanzania’s capital city, Dar es Salaam. Without warning, there was a rumble that steadily got louder, and then a 16-storey building under construction crumpled to the ground. Scores of people were trapped by the falling debris.

At least 36 people died in the collapse, including three children, but 14 were rescued from the debris.

More than 50 staff and volunteers at the Tanzania Red Cross Society dropped what they were doing and rushed in to help. Collaborating with government security forces and other agencies over the following two days, the bright red vests of the Red Cross could be seen helping during search and rescue operations.

The organization also provided ambulance services, identified casualties and reconnected them with relatives, and provided first aid and psychosocial support to those affected by the collapse.

President of Tanzania Red Cross Society, Dr George Nangale was among those who visited volunteers on the scene as the operation unfolded.

Dar es Salaam regional commissioner, Sadik Meck Sadik praised Red Cross volunteers for their work during the operation. “Really, I do thank all organizations and institutions especially Tanzania Red Cross Society for the work well done over the last four days during the search, rescue and recovery operations. Their contribution cannot pass without being mentioned,” Sadik said.

The government also ordered residents of a neighbouring 15-storey tower to evacuate the building as there was a high risk of it also collapsing.