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Published: Tue, March 14, 2017
World | By Tasha Manning

Landslide kills 35 in Ethiopian capital

Landslide kills 35 in Ethiopian capital

The death toll in the landslide at a major rubbish dump on the outskirts of Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa has risen to 48.

Numerous victims were squatters, who scavenged for valuables in the dump, he said. The landslide, destroyed several makeshift homes, killed and injured many people.

The area has been a dumping ground for Addis Ababa's waste for more than five decades and hundreds of people rely on it to survive by picking out items they can sell.

The mayor of Addis Ababa noted that more than three dozen people were rescued and received medical treatment.

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Addis Ababa city spokeswoman Dagmawit Moges said most of the 46 dead were women and children, and more bodies were expected to be found in the coming hours.

City authorities say dozens of people are still unaccounted for and could be buried under the rubble. "Now I don't know the fate of all of them", he said to AP News Agency. Some 500 waste pickers are believed to visit the dump every day, sifting through the waste of the better off for anything of value. However, local residents suspect the tragedy can be blamed on the recent restart of dumping at the site following a pause that lasted for a few years.

Eyewitness said there were over 150 people around the area when the unprecedented garbage land slide happen. The government had also been building a factory to convert waste products at the landfill into electric energy, he said.

Ethiopia, which has one of Africa's fastest growing economies, is under a state of emergency imposed in October after several months of sometimes deadly protests demanding wider political freedoms.

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