Minaret collapse toll rises to 41

  • IANS, Rabat (Morocco)
  • |
  • Updated: Feb 20, 2010 19:42 IST

The toll in the collapse of a minaret in northern Morocco rose to 41 on Saturday, with the number of injured put at 75, Moroccan news agency MAP reported.

Both figures were higher than the original casualty tolls given late Friday after the collapse of the 400-year-old minaret during prayers in the city of Meknes. The mosque itself was also badly damaged when the minaret collapsed.

Authorities have not determined the cause of the accident, although reports suggested that recent heavy rainfalls in the area may have been a factor.

Rescue efforts were described as difficult because of the narrow streets in the historic district of Meknes where the Bab Berdieyinne Mosque is located. 

Meknes has about half a million residents and along with Fes, Marakesh and Rabat is one of Morocco's four so-called royal cities.

In the past it was the seat of one of the country's ruling dynasties. Meknes' medina or historical centre is listed as a world cultural heritage site by Unesco.

 

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