Posted by Oko Ojogho, Umuahia | 16 May 2013 | 4,119 times
An uncompleted three-storey building has collapsed in the Abia State capital, Umuahia, killing four members of one family.
Among the dead is the breadwinner of the family simply identified as David said to be in his 30s, his two children, aged five years and three months, as well as their grandmother (David’s mother).
David’s wife is among the three injured survivors who were rushed to the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, and are said to be in stable condition.
The family was occupying the ground floor of the building, located at Agbama Housing Estate, a suburb of Umuahia, South East Nigeria. Other occupants were workers drafted to correct defects detected in the building.
The building collapsed at about 8 last night. Sources said the casualty rate would have been higher if most of the workers had not gone out either to eat or to watch the final match of the Europa League involving Chelsea of England and Benfica of Portugal.
The building, according to sources, suffered severe defects, forcing the property owner to draft about 15 workers to the place with a view to correcting the defects by reinforcing the building.
The sources said that it was in the process of reinforcing the building that it collapsed. An occupant, Victor Ojukwu, was quoted as saying that he heard a cracking sound while he was leaving the building shortly before it crashed.
A private construction firm made its equipment available for the rescue operations which lasted all night while security operatives were on hand to ensure law and order while the rescue operations continue. However, rescue operations were still in progress as at the time of this publication.
Meanwhile, the state government has promised to pay the hospital bills of the survivors.
Governor Theodore Orji, represented by his Deputy, Sir Emeka Ananaba, visited the scene this morning and condoled relations of the deceased while assuring that government would write off medical bills of those rushed to hospital and asked the hospital management to ensure that the survivors were well taken care.
Transition Chairman of Umuahia South, Chief Jerry Uzosike, attributed the collapse of buildings to the use of sub-standard materials during construction and enjoined property owners to always use quality materials in building house in order not to endanger lives.
•Photo: A collapsed building in Nigeria.
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