At least four people were injured on Friday when a section of Tanzania’s Zanzibar historic landmark building collapsed.
The four, part of a team renovating the building called the House of Wonders located in Stone Town, were rescued from the rubble shortly after the collapse.
Issa Yusuf, a Zanzibar-based journalist with state-run Tanzania Standard Newspapers, publishers of Daily News and Sunday News, told Xinhua by phone that rescue work was ongoing.
“The four rescued people have been rushed to hospital,” he said, adding that the building was closed in 2014 but the renovation work started this year.
The Citizen, Tanzania’s private-owned English daily, reported that Zanzibar’s President Hussein Ali Mwinyi visited the scene where he was briefed on the rescue mission.
Xinhua tried to call Issa Sarboko, the director general of the Stone Town conservation and development authority, but the director’s phone went unanswered.
The House of Wonders, built in 1883, is currently closed due to disrepair, with large sections of the veranda and roof collapsing in 2012 and 2015, respectively, threatening the structural integrity of the rest of the building.
The House of Wonders is the largest and tallest building in Stone Town and occupies a prominent place facing the Forodhani gardens on the old town’s seafront.
The construction materials of the building consisted of an original combination of coral rag, concrete slabs, mangrove shoots and steel beams. Enditem