All Victims Of Abakaliki Collapsed Building Safe – Ebonyi Govt, Police

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Ebonyi State government and the police have confirmed that all the victims of the collapsed building incident which occurred in Abakaliki on June 18 are safe.

The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports that the three- storey building under construction is owned by a member of the Ebonyi House of Assembly, Mr Oluchukwu Ezeali.

Commissioner for Capital City and Urban Planning, Chief Sunday Inyima told the News Agency of Nigeria yesterday that two construction workers trapped inside the building’s rubble had  been rescued.

Inyima said four other construction workers at the site successfully escaped when the building collapsed.

“We went to the hospital with the four workers to see the two rescued victims and they confirmed that they worked with them on the site.

“We are happy that all the workers are alive and we can presently face technical matters,” he said.

The commissioner assured the public that the matter would be thoroughly investigated to serve as deterrent to others.

“We call on the owner of the building to present himself to security agencies for investigations.

“I spoke with him and he promised to bring the site workers and the supervising engineer to the ministry but he has only brought the workers,” he said.

He noted that the building was not approved by the ministry, as the owner was advised not to erect a high rise building in the area.

“The building was situated at Udensi/Nnodo low-cost housing estate of Abakaliki and only bungalows were approved for the area.

“The owner ignored the advice and according to information in his records, he was constructing a three-storey building.

“He did not obtain a building approval as whatever he did concerning the structure was illegal,” he said.

The Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, DSP Joshua Ukandu, also confirmed that the two trapped  victims were responding to treatment at the Alex Ekwueme Federal Teaching Hospital.

“The divisional police officer in charge of the area is on top of the situation and can confirm that the victims are responding to treatment,” he said.

One of the victims, Celestine Arua, thanked God for saving him as he thought he would die under the rubble.

NAN reports that officials of the Council for Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria, COREN, and other engineering regulatory bodies all visited the site and confirmed that it didn’t meet relevant engineering stipulations.

Ezeali, when approached by newsmen, said he was still in shock over the incident and would address the press appropriately. (NAN)

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