Melcom Disaster Survivors Remember Dead Colleagues

melcome desasterSurvivors of last year’s Melocom disaster yesterday laid a wreath in honour of their departed colleagues and loved ones in the six-storey building disaster at Achimota Neoplan in Accra.

The occasion was to commemorate the one year anniversary of the tragedy in which 14 perished; sixty-seven others were, however, rescued.

At exactly 9:45 a.m., the staff assembled at the tragedy spot and prayers were said for the souls of the departed and a minute’s silence observed.

Surprisingly, management  of the Melcom Group of Companies (MGC) was not present. A survivor, Jennifer Naa Korkoi Attor, speaking to The Ghanaian Times thanked God for her life and prayed for the souls of her departed colleagues and manager.

Recounting the event on that fateful day, Jennifer said she was the one who led the morning devotion. “Some few minutes to begin work, I heard a loud noise, followed by the collapse of the building.”

Ms. Attor, who has since resigned from the company, stressed the need for strict enforcement of the country’s  building regulations to prevent the recurrence of such  tragedies in future.

“It seems all has been forgotten  just after a year, we should bear  in mind that when the incident occurred, it affected the nation and business activities for a week. I think great importance must be attached to the event,” she said.

Another survivor, Joshua Omari Asiedu advised that more safety measures and proper insurance should be put in place to protect workers in times of disasters.

He alleged that he was given only GH¢2,000 as compensation, while some of his colleagues received only GH¢1,000 and GH¢500, respectively.

Reverend Christopher Quaye of the Kingdom Living Ministry, who led the prayer, urged the government to put in place measures to prevent such accidents.

He asked the management of the Melcom Group of Companies to provide the survivors adequate counselling.
Wednesday, November 7, 2012, has become a “Black Wednesday” in the annals of the country, the day the six-storey building which housed the Melcom Supermarket collapsed, and trapped 81 workers and shoppers.

The incident occurred at about 9:45 a.m., when the workers had just finished their morning devotion, and were about to begin the day’s business.

Just as customers began trooping in, according to eye-witnesses and passers-by, they heard a loud noise amidst a dusty atmosphere, which lasted for minutes.

When the dust settled, the huge beautiful edifice was in ruins, with staff, customers and goods trapped under the debris. Personnel from the Armed Forces,  National Fire Service, Police Service, the  Ambulance Service and the National Disaster Management Oranisation (NADMO) with experts from Israel, joined hands in the rescue operation.  By Anita Nyarko   

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