2 killed in Tanzania's Zanzibar historic building collapse


DAR ES SALAAM, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- At least two people were killed and four others injured after Friday's collapse of The House of Wonders in Tanzania's Zanzibar, an official said on Saturday.

Khalid Salum Muhammed, Zanzibar's Minister of State in the Office of the Second Vice-President responsible for Policy, Coordination and the House of Representatives, said the two were killed after they were trapped in the rubble.

He told a news conference that two of the four injured people were in critical condition and doctors at the Mnazi Mmoja government hospital were working around the clock to save their lives.

"The bodies of the two persons were recovered by rescuers on Friday night," said Muhammed.

He appealed to members of the public to be patient as rescue work continued to comb the area and find out whether there were more people trapped in the rubble of the collapsed building.

Zanzibar's President Hussein Ali Mwinyi visited the four injured persons admitted to the hospital and ordered relevant authorities to probe the cause of the collapse of the building, said Muhammed.

The deceased and the injured were part of a team renovating The House of Wonders located in Stone Town.

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.

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