Sana’a sewer collapses in Shumaila, child drowns
Emad Al-Arwi, a resident in the area, said people were surprised that one of the large sinks in the area collapsed because of heavy rains. Residents rushed to the scene and saved the father, but they couldn’t save the child because he sank to the bottom and remained there for five hours, drowning him.
Colonel Abdullah Abdu Moharram, general director of Al-Saba’een district, said the sewer collapsed in part when the father and his child were passing by.
“The father was saved, but a group of divers kept searching for the child until 11 p.m. because it was very deep and filled with water.”
Moharram said it was difficult to get the child out of the sewer because it was expected to collapse at any moment.
“We needed a team of divers to get him out, and so a group of divers from the Special Forces was summoned.”
Moharram said more than 50,000 sewers in Sana’a aren’t covered yet, which causes them to collapse and leads to grave accidents. He said a team from the Sanitation Department was appointed to cover all the sewers in Shumaila. A team from the Criminal Investigation Department and the police was also appointed to investigate the matter and to punish those responsible for the incident.
Fu’ad Al-Qodami, public relations manager in the capital, said Abdulqadir Helal, secretary of the capital, gave orders to start investigating the matter.
Sewer collapses are common in Sana’a, and this leads to the deaths of many residents, particularly in the rainy season. Rain makes soil wet and able to collapse easily. These sewers were used before establishing sanitation methods.
Salah Al-Asdi, a resident in Shumaila area, said that it’s fairly often that people fall into sewers and die.
“A similar incident happened recently in Al-Sonaina area and then in Shumaila.”
Al-Asdi called upon the Ministry of Public Works to bear the responsibility because it is the relevant authority for these sewers.
“We mustn’t forget this incident, particularly because the sewer is located in front of a mosque. Had it happened on Friday, many people would have died.”