Melcom disaster: Death toll hit nine as at mid-day Thursday

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Accra, Nov. 8, GNA – The death toll of the Melcom Shopping Mall disaster hit nine mid-day on Thursday whilst another person was rescued, bringing the number of  survivors to 78, a Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) source has said.

      Mr Prince Billy Anaglate, Deputy Public Relations Officer of the GNFS, told the Ghana News Agency at the site that casualty figures should be verified from the Service.

     “We are in charge here with all the statistics and you must check from us before going on air to avoid giving conflicting figures,” Mr Anaglate said.

     Meanwhile a nine-man Israeli Rescue Mission on Thursday joined the Ghanaian rescue team at the disaster site to assist locate and extricate any remaining survivors.  

     The team was briefed by some officials of the Ghanaian team at the site.

      In an earlier interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra an Official of the Embassy of Israel Eyal Lampert said the Israeli team is expected to work in collaboration with the detachment from the Field Engineer Regiment of the Ghana Army currently at the site.  

     According to the Embassy official the team would undertake initial assessment at the site using special equipment and sniffer dogs that would help identify the locations of possible survivors or corpses.   

     He said Israel had in addition to the rescue to team put on standby about 150 support team and logistics including field hospitals and concrete cutters to move to Ghana should the initial assessment deem it necessary.

  The hard work of the Field Engineers Regiment, National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) and other emergency institutions including the Ghana Police and the National Ambulance Service has led to the rescue of at least 51 persons from the rubble so far.   

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