Landslide at Ethiopia landfill kills 46

  • Landslide at Ethiopia landfill kills 46

Landslide at Ethiopia landfill kills 46

A massive landslide at a garbage dump near the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa on Saturday killed more than 60 people, Communications Minister Negeri Lencho confirmed to CNN.

Hundreds of wastepickers sort through the trash brought to the landfill each day and affordable homes line the dump that city officials say collects some 300,000 tons of garbage each year. "I think the decision by city officials to resume dumping some months back was the main reason for this accident, which has so far buried at least 20 houses", Assefa Teklemahimanot, a local resident, said, as cited by Euronews.

The resumption of garbage dumping at the site in recent months likely caused the landslide, Assefa said.

The African Union, headquartered in the capital, called on residents to remain calm as people are being retrieved from the dump. The mayor said 37 people had been rescued and were receiving medical treatment.

"It's a sad story because the government has been trying to resettle the people residing in the area", he added. The site has been chosen for the construction of a waste-to-energy plant, which has been nearly finished. Spokeswoman Dagmawit Moges said 32 of the victims were women.

Hundreds of people are believed to be at the landfill every day scavenging items to make a living. Numerous landfill's residents were hit hard by the collapse, with their homes damaged and relatives still missing.

"My mother and three of my sisters were there when the landslide happened".

At least 30 people died and dozens more were hurt in a giant landslide at Ethiopia's largest rubbish dump outside Addis Ababa, a tragedy squatters living there blamed on a biogas plant being built nearby.

"My house was right inside there", said resident Tebeju Asres, pointing toward an area where rescuers were working.