UPDATED: One killed, six injured after Harare building collapses

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By Staff Reporter 

POLICE have confirmed the death of one person after a city building collapsed under the weight of a hailstorm, leaving six others hospitalized.

The incident occurred late Saturday along Chinhoyi Street in Harare’s central business district (CBD), near Gulf Complex.

In a statement, police spokesperson Paul Nyathi said victims met their fate as they sought shelter on the building’s pavement in the wake of a hailstorm.

The deceased was identified as Yolanda Hodzi (age not given) of Maridale, Norton.

The injured, currently admitted at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, include Kudzaishe Mafauna (20) of Ushewekunze, Harare; Trywell Leadmore of Adlean, Westgate, Harare; Wadzanai Baureni of Waterfalls, Harare; Brendon Madondo of Unit K, Chitungwiza; and Conilias Chiwaka (41) of Ruwa.

Three vehicles parked in front of the building were also damaged: a Mazda 323, a Toyota Probox, and a Toyota Spade. The cost of the damage is yet to be determined, Nyathi said.

Nyathi said police investigations are underway in collaboration with the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) to determine the cause of the tragedy.

Most structures, inherited from the colonial era, have seen little to no refurbishment since independence, posing a serious public safety risk.

The collapse comes as the Harare City Council has urged government to enact regulations that empower authorities to close down dilapidated buildings in the CBD.

Recently, the council issued a 14-day ultimatum to all property owners and occupants to improve their buildings through repairs, refurbishments, or repainting.