Update: Mahama cuts short campaign tour, visits Melcom disaster scene
President John Dramani Mahama, who was forced to cut short his campaign tour to Bawku in the Upper East Region due to the collapsing of a six-storey Melcom Achimota building, has arrived in Accra.
The president visited the scene at 3:50pm immediately after his arrival where he was briefed by the security officers there.
Personnel from the 48 Engineering Regiment of the Ghana Armed Forces told President Mahama that 38 persons have been rescued, and four confirmed dead. Several others are still trapped under the rubble.
A combined rescue team from the Ghana Police Service, the Ghana National Fire Service, National Disaster Management Organisation, Ghana Armed Forces are busily working on the debris to rescue survivors.
John Jinapor, Spokesperson for the President, earlier confirmed to Joy News that the President had suspended his campaign tour.
He said the President was “shocked” when he heard about the sad incident.
He said the President was on his way to Bolgatanga when he heard about the incident.
“The President is likely to move to Accra immediately we get to Bolga,” he said earlier.
President Mahama earlier directed the Vice President, Paa Kwesi Amissah Arther, IGP Paul Tawiah Quaye, CDS Lt Gen Peter Augustine Blay to move to the scene to supervise the rescue operation.
Joy News’ Elton John Brobbey who is at the scene reports that the Vice President has been at the scene and said he was “saddened” by the unfortunate event.
Mr Amissah-Arthur called on people trooping to the scene to allow the security personnel to carry out their professional duty without obstructing their work.
Meanwhile Greater Accra Regional Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Freeman Tettey told Joy News five people have been rescued so far but could not tell their state of condition.
Elton Brobbey however gathered that about 40 staff of Melcom were said to have reported to work before the building collapsed.
The ultra-modern Melcom shopping complex is opposite the Neoplan Assembly Plant at Achimota and the Agricultural Development Bank(ADB). The building was commissioned barely a year ago.
President Mahama, in a tweet moments after the building collapsed, said: “My prayers are with the workers, shoppers and others who are trapped in the rubble of the Achimota Melcom building.”