As the building under construction adjacent to the KSIJ Mosque crumbled to the ground in the early hours of Friday, March 29, at about 08.15 AM, there were some construction workers in the ill-fated building, several children who were playing in the Mosque/Imambara compound and few bystanders along Indira Ghandi Street who were caught unaware of the falling building and the ensuing disaster.
“My prayers to my fellow Tanzanians who have been affected by this tragedy of the collapse of the building in the central area of Dar es Salaam this morning,” President Kikwete said Friday on Twitter.
Out of the 54 people who were trapped beneath the rubble, 18 survivors were pulled out in the immediate aftermath, but sadly 36 lost their lives. Out of 12 injured victims who were taken to the hospitals, 4 are still admitted and the rest have been discharged. A number of those who perished in the accident were labourers on the site, many whose identities are yet to be known, and efforts by relevant institutions are being made to work with all those affected by this catastrophe.
Africa Federation upon this tragedy cancelled the AFED Sports Council Tuwasiliane Football and Volleyball Festival. The Festival which was taking place in Tanga during the Easter Holidays involved several teams from the Jamaats of Kenya, Tanzania and Dubai numbering to about 150 players and officials.
Local and foreign construction companies mobilized teams of workers, operators and drivers with heavy duty equipment including earth movers, bull dozers, excavators, trucks, cranes, mobile flood-lights etc. Their arrival at the scene of the accident on immediate onset was invaluable in the operations, as time was of great essence in this situation. The companies were joined by a team from the Tanzania Defence Forces, who proved very helpful for their skills in search and rescue with some equipment from the Tanzanian Army.
Hundreds of people including rescuers from the Tanzania Defence Forces, the Tanzania Police Force, the Fire and Rescue Services, Medical personnel, Ambulances services, Ultimate Security Services Ltd., and other volunteers from different communities in Dar es Salaam worked non-stop on the rescue operations.
Ebrahim Haji Ithna-Asheri Charitable Health Centre had set a makeshift post in the Mosque Compound along with their medical staff and medications for medical and emergency services.
The magnitude of the disaster was beyond anyone’s imagination, whilst on the other side, the outpour of sympathy and support from several communities who came forward to assist was incredibly overwhelming. Food, water and drinks were being brought in plenty by various communities, organizations and well-wishers. This kind gesture helped tremendously people at the site of the accident who were working round the clock for three days.
The site was cleared by mid-day on Monday, 1st April 2013; it is unprecedented that such a massive work of digging into the rubble, clearing the debris and ensuring the safety and security of the site to be completed within three days. Undoubtedly, this was only possible with the help and blessing of Allah (SWT) and the support and cooperation from the Tanzanian Government, construction companies, public and private institutions, and volunteers from various communities of Dar es Salaam. Our Jamaat leadership, the KSI Jamaat Task Force, IUVC Volunteers, Boys Scouts and members of our community played a significant role in the entire operations. We pray to Allah (SWT) to reward them all amply for their selfless services and for the sacrifices of their valuable time, energy and resources, Ameen.
The President of the United Republic of Tanzania, H.E. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete visited the scene of the disaster on Friday and Saturday to witness the disaster and the ongoing rescue work at the site. The Vice President of Tanzania, H.E. Dr. Mohamed Gharib Bilal and the Prime Minister, H. E. Mizengo Pinda also visited the scene of the accident on Saturday as did other government officials and community leaders throughout the three days.
The Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner, Mr. Saidi Meck Sadiki after a brief introduction welcomed the Home Affairs Minister Honourable Emanuel Nchimbi, who spoke at the function at the mosque compound on Monday morning on behalf of the President of the United Republic of Tanzania. He appreciated all those who were involved in one way or the other in the search and rescue operations and for providing various support services following the tragic accident.
Below: The Accident Site of the Collapsed Building is cleared:
The Fallen Heroes:
Please join us also in remembering in our prayers the late Zahid Mohamed Kanji, Yusuf Shafiqali Khaki, Suhailali Mohamed Karim, and Salman Salim Damji. Among the 36 who lost their lives, was one of the caretakers of the collapsed building, Mr. Abdulrahman Othman Mwiru, a Shia brother whose body was recovered on Sunday night in the basement and his burial took place on Monday, 1st April at the Magomeni cemetery after Zohrain prayers. We pray for maghferat of all those who died in this tragic accident and May Allah (SWT) shower His mercy upon them and place their souls in eternal peace, Ameen.
The Chairman of Africa Federation, Alhaj Anwarali Dharamsi has sent messages of condolences and sympathies on behalf of Africa Federation to the families of those who lost their loved ones in this incident. Part of the message reads.
“Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to all the families for the loss of the loved ones in this tragic accident; and let us pray to Allah (SWT) with the Wasilah of our 14 Masumeen (AS) to grant the families the patience, strength and courage to bear these losses as well as the well-being of those affected by this tragic accident. Our hearts are filled with grief and sorrow as we stand by you at these difficult times in your lives”.
The President of Dar es Salaam Jamaat, Alhaj Shiraz Walji who was joined by the Chairman of Africa Federation, Alhaj Anwarali Dharamsi, were at the accident site in the Mosque/Imambara compound throughout this period of the rescue and cleaning operations starting from Friday morning up to the end of the rescue operations and clean up on Monday evening. Their presence provided the motivation and support to the community members, and we commend their spirit of involvement in managing the crisis and in providing appropriate guidance.
We wish to make a special mention of the support provided by Professor Karim Manji, who was of tremendous help especially in liaising and facilitating with the Muhimbili Hospital for the bodies of the victims and coordinating with the victims’ families and the relevant authorities for paper work, release of the bodies of the deceased and related matters.
Regular updates jointly prepared by the KSI Jamaat of Dar es Salaam, The Africa Federation and The World Federation on the tragic accident of the collapsed building were posted online for the benefit of the global community.
Messages of sympathies, condolences and support continue to pour in from various Organizations, Institutions and individuals within and outside from our community throughout the world. This has given all involved the strength and motivation to keep working throughout these few days of tragic loss and pain. We would like to appreciate all for their messages of solace and offers of assistance at these trying times for the People of Tanzania.
A global fund has also been set up to help the families of our community members, including counseling, for those affected by this tragedy. The monies raised will also be used to help with the rebuilding exercise of the Dar es Salaam Jamaat complex which has been damaged as a result of the collapse of the building.
DAR ES SALAAM BUILDING COLLAPSE RELIEF FUND – PLEASE SUPPORT GENEROUSLY
Donate in Africa (Through your local Jamaat or Africa Federation Secretariat) – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org