17 People Killed After Garbage Heap Collapses in Mozambique

At least 17 people have been killed in Mozambique’s capital, Maputo, after a huge mound of rubbish collapsed on their homes, officials say.

Many more residents were injured when the pile of waste, some 15m (49ft) high, gave way in heavy rains at 03:00 local time (01:00 GMT) on Monday.

Rescue workers are continuing to search for people still trapped.

The city of Maputo has experienced heavy rainfall since Sunday, which has damaged homes and flooded roads.

Several properties were crushed in the incident in the Hulene district of Maputo, one of the poorest parts of the capital, while people were sleeping inside.

A spokesman for the emergency services, Leonilde Pelembe, warned that more victims could be trapped under the waste.

“The information we received from local authorities is that the number of people living in those houses exceeds the number of deaths recorded,” Mr Pelembe said.

The authorities said they had previously asked residents in the area to leave because their homes were constructed illegally, Reuters news agency reports.

However one local resident whose son was injured in the landslide, Maria Huo, said: “I live in this neighbourhood because I have nowhere to go. Had the government told me to go to another place to live, I would have left here.”

In the poorer suburbs of cities such as Maputo, people sometimes live on land they do not own in the hope of finding work. The dwellings can be built on land that is unsafe.