Death toll in Ethiopia landfill landslide reaches 115

World Today

Ethiopia Deadly Landslide Relatives mourn as they lift portraits of family members they lost in the collapse of a mountain of trash at a garbage dump, during a funeral service held at the Gebrekristos church in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Monday, March 13, 2017. The death toll reached more than 60 on Monday from the collapse at the dump on the outskirts of the capital, according to the state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate, as relatives waited for news of the dozens of people said to be missing. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

Emergency workers in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa searched through a mountain of garbage for the fifth consecutive day on Thursday as the death toll from a landslide at a rubbish landfill site rose to 115.

The Horn of Africa country has declared three days of national mourning for the victims of the disaster that occurred at the 50-year-old Reppi dump on Saturday evening.

Two bodies were uncovered on Thursday morning, rescue workers and residents taking part in the search said, a day after a government spokesperson raised the toll to 113, 75 of whom were women.

“As the number of missing people is still high, we expect to pull more bodies out today and in the coming days,” an emergency worker told Reuters.

Residents of the area say at least 80 people remain unaccounted for. Dozens of victims have so far been buried at the Abune Aregawi Church nearby since Tuesday.

Hundreds of people live near the dump, the city’s only landfill site. Some of the victims scavenged for food and items that could be sold, such as recyclable metal.

The landslide destroyed dozens of homes. Officials in the capital say they plan to resettle most of the tenants and build a waste-to-energy plant.

Ethiopia is one of Africa’s fastest growing economies, but the drive to industrialize has also stoked discontent among those who feel left behind.

Story by Reuters.