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Building collapses in Cameroon's Douala, killing many

July 23, 2023

A four-story building collapsed onto a smaller structure in Cameroon's most populous city of Douala. Rescuers and soldiers were digging through the wreckage.

View of Douala, Cameroon, at night
Douala is Cameroon's commercial hubImage: Thomas Imo/photothek/IMAGO

A building collapsed in the Cameroonian city of Douala, killing at least 16 people, authorities said on Sunday.

Douala, located in the western Littoral region, is Cameroon's commercial center and most populous city. Littoral Governor Samuel Dieudonne Ivaha Diboua warned that casualty figures may rise.

Diboua said that "rescue workers, assisted by Cameroon government troops, are still digging the wreckage to see if more bodies can be recovered."

The four-story building was in the city's eastern Ange Raphael neighborhood. It fell down onto another residential building, around midnight local time (2300 UTC).

Governor said that 31 people in total were affected by the collapse.

The cause of the collapse was not immediately clear.

"We heard people screaming... and struggled to help some out of the wreckage, but could not do it with our spades and (garden) hoes," said Gaspard Ndoppo, who lives in Ange Raphael.

In June 2023, local authorities identified 500 buildings in danger of collapse throughout the city.

sdi/dj (Reuters, AFP, AP)