Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
Five persons have been confirmed dead in the collapsed three-storey building under construction at 9 Ezenwa Street in Onitsha, Anambra State.
Also, six persons were reported injured while four are receiving treatment at the Onitsha General Hospital and All Hallows’ Hospital. One of the injured has been discharged.
Chairman of the Nigerian Red Cross Society, Prof. Peter Emeka Katchy, told Daily Sun that two bodies were recovered on Wednesday and another two pulled out of the rubbles yesterday by the search and rescue team.
He said the rescue team would continue until they get to the foundation of the building to ensure no person is left whether alive or dead.
Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Haruna Mohammed, confirmed five persons died.
Chairman of Onitsha North Local Government Area, Patrick Agha Mba, who was at the scene, commended the youths who came out en masse immediately the building came down, for rescue operation that ensured that three persons were rescued before the excavator arrived.
He commended Governor Willie Obiano for his prompt intervention by sending excavators for rescue operation, saying without the quick intervention, all those trapped would have died under the debris.
Agha Mba said government would look into the cause of the collapse, but noted that the priority now should be how to bring out those trapped and treat the injured.
Chairman of Anambra State Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE) and member of the engineering regulating monitoring team, Victor Elekuna, said when he was contacted about the building collapse, he rushed to the scene and mobilised workers with machine for rescue operation.
He said three persons were rescued on Wednesday, while two bodies were recovered. The search continued until all those trapped were rescued. On the cause of the collapse building, he said, “I blame it on the government because they should emphasise that you don’t build a storey building without a proper test. In this case, no test was conducted -soil texture test or slab test.”
He said lives were lost and owner of the house has lost huge amount of money.
He said the right thing should be done to save lives and money by government agencies in charge.
“So, government should sit-up and ensure that before erection of any building. They should first secure approval and ensure that the place undergo soil test to guide you on the type of building and foundation to put there,”he stated.