Civil protection services in Tangier, northern Morocco, have retrieved four more bodies and rescued seven others from the underground textile sweatshop that was flooded this morning, February 8.
The death toll of the tragic incident climbed to 28 at the time of writing, while the total number of rescued workers reached 17.
Health authorities have transferred all the rescued to the local hospital for medical care.
The tragic incident occurred after a flood caused a short circuit in an illegal industrial unit, hosted in an underground garage in a residential area.
The short circuit, combined with the floodwater, led all the victims to die from electrocution, according to initial investigations. Some of the survivors, meanwhile, remained trapped in the flooded workshop for several hours.
The tragedy shocked citizens and residents nationwide, leading many to condemn the lack of safety precautions in the textile sweatshop and its illegal status.
Authorities in the Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region have claimed they were unaware of the existence of an industrial unit in the residential area.
However, several witnesses residing near the workshop told local media that the production unit has been operating for several years and that all the neighborhood’s residents knew of its existence.
Earlier today, security services arrested the owner of the sweatshop for questioning. Many Moroccans are urging the Public Prosecutor’s Office to charge him with criminal negligence. The investigation, meanwhile, is still ongoing to determine all the causes of the incident.
The incident occurred while several neighborhoods in Tangier were witnessing floods. Several photos and videos shared on social networks documented the situation, showing cars submerged by the waters.