Eight Ivory Coast workers die in botched demolition
Abidjan (AFP) - At least eight construction workers have died in Ivory's Coast's commercial capital Abidjan in a botched building demolition, a municipal official said Thursday.
The accident took place on Wednesday at Attecoube, a working-class district of the port city, when 20 workers demolishing a four-storey building that had been condemned as unsafe collapsed on them.
"At least eight bodies were taken from the rubble during the search which lasted all night," said Attecoube municipal official Theodore Koffi.
Nine people were rescued by emergency workers of whom one was described to be in a serious condition.
A top official from the construction ministry said the demolition was part of a plan to clear the city of unsafe buildings. He said the demolition had been sub-contracted to a private firm.
Abidjan's central districts boasts swanky highrise buildings but several outlying districts are densely populated and dotted with insalubrious and unsafe buildings and homes.
The west African country, the world's top cocoa producer for decades, was an oasis of peace and prosperity in restive west Africa until a low-level civil war in 2002 split the nation in two.
The country is slowly emerging from the effects of the conflicts which had a huge impact on the economy.