Posted: Nov 7, 2012 7:36 AM
ACCRA, Ghana (AP) - The top floors of a five-story shopping center built earlier this year in a suburb of Ghana's capital collapsed Wednesday, killing at least one person and leaving several dozen people trapped in the rubble, authorities and eyewitnesses said.
Public Affairs Officer of the Ghana Fire Service Billy Anaglate confirmed the fatality at the Melcom Shopping Center at Achimota, a suburb of Accra, though other officials told The Associated Press that the death toll was likely to rise.
"We are still working to find out the fate of others who may be trapped under," Anaglate said.
Five people already have been rescued while about 35 more are known to be trapped, said Freeman Tetteh, Greater Accra Regional Public Affairs Officer of the Ghana Police.
Search and rescue teams were working Wednesday to free those caught in the shopping center, Kojo Boadi, an eyewitness, told The Associated Press.
"I was on my way to the shop when l saw it crumpling down," he said.
President John Mahama declared the scene a disaster zone and cut short his election campaign in the north of the country to be able to pay a visit to the site.
The shopping center is in a glass building, which was opened in February is part of the Melcom chain owned by Indian immigrant magnate, Bhagwan Khubchandani. His late father arrived in Ghana in 1929 as a 14-year-old to work as a store boy in the-then Gold Coast.
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