17 Die After Garbage ‘mountains’ Collapse On Homes In Mozambique

Garbage 'mountains' Collapse

17 Die After Garbage ‘mountains’ Collapse On Homes In Mozambique

Heavy rains have triggered the partial collapse of a huge mound of garbage in Mozambique’s capital, burying and killing at least 17 people.

Authorities said more bodies might be buried at the Hulene garbage dump on the outskirts of Maputo and a search was under way on Monday. The garbage in the poor, densely populated area where the disaster happened rose to the height of a three-storey building, according to the Portuguese news agency Lusa.

People watch rescuers searching for bodies under collapsed garbage piles in Maputo

Lusa and Radio Mocambique both reported 17 deaths. Half a dozen homes were destroyed and some residents in the area fled for fear of another collapse.

“The mountains of garbage collapsed on the houses and many families were still inside these residences,” Fatima Belchoir, a national disaster official, told Lusa. Authorities were trying to help people who lost their homes, she said.

At least 17 people were killed

The Hulene garbage dump is the largest such facility in Maputo. People often comb through the garbage searching for food and items to sell.

Health workers have long raised concerns about the impact of the fumes, flies and other hazards of the dump on the surrounding community. Municipal officials have discussed closing it.