The death toll has risen to 113, after several days of searching turned up more bodies following a weekend landslide at a massive landfill outside Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa.
Communications Minister Negeri Lencho told CNN Wednesday the bodies of 38 males and 75 females had been recovered, many of them children.
“This is the result of the search because this is a vast area. It is also deep. The amount (that) collapsed, it is deep, it takes time,” the minister said, explaining the sharp increase in the death toll.
At least 60 people were counted dead shortly after the mounds of decaying trash and debris gave way late Saturday. Many people lived in makeshift houses on top of the garbage.
“There is no explanation for this accident except naturally the pile of this trash may have been shaken. The investigation … is still going on,” Lencho said.
The landfill is called Koshe, which means “dust.” It’s been around for decades, servicing the sprawling and growing capital.
“It’s a sad story because the government has been trying to resettle the people residing in the area,” Lencho told CNN Monday. The government had also been building a factory to convert waste products at the landfill into energy, he said.
Fisseha Tekle, the chief researcher for Amnesty International in Ethiopia, said the government claims it has been developing for the last decade, “but it was not able to take residents out of this deplorable situation,” he said.
And, he said, there had been no concrete action to remove the people from this area prior to this incident.
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