A 12-year-old girl was among those pulled out alive from the wreckage of a landslide that has so far killed 42 people in western Cameroon.
Her father, Tabou Victor told CNN that he had gone to bed on Monday night with his four children, three girls and a boy, when part of his house collapsed in Bamoungoum village near the regional city of Bafoussam.
Despite sustaining bruises on his left eye and a fractured arm, Tabou said he managed to break through the back door to rescue two of his children who sustained severe injuries.
His 18-year-old daughter however died at the hospital, Victor said.
“When my house started collapsing, I rushed to the room to help my children out who were crying for help. I succeeded to break the back door and pull three of them out but I could not find my other daughter,” a visibly upset Victor told CNN from his hospital bed.
Rescue workers also recovered the bodies of 26 children and four pregnant women from scene of the disaster, a medical official said.
The landslide was triggered by days of heavy rains and happened on Monday night while residents were asleep. Many people are still feared trapped under the rubble.
Eight survivors are receiving treatment at the hospital and the government will foot their medical bills, Interior minister Paul Atanga Nji said.
President Paul Biya sent his condolences to the family of the bereaved and wished survivors a speedy recovery.
“I am saddened by the death of several compatriots, following a landslide that occurred at Gouachié 4(neighborhood) in Bafoussam. I would like to extend my sincere condolences to the families of the victims,” Biya said in a message addressed to the Governor of the West Region.
Regional governor Awa Fonka Augustine said it’s been difficult for rescue workers to access the site of the disaster because of the slopes in the area. However, the search continues for more bodies.
A team of government officials will visit the scene on Wednesday to evaluate the situation before submitting a report to the Prime Minister for appropriate measures to be taken, Augustine said.