Two die in A’Ibom building collapse, govt kicks

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At least two persons have been confirmed dead while three others are still lying critically ill in the hospital following the collapse of a four-storey building on Saturday in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

This is as the state government said it would set up an enquiry into the building collapse, threatening that violators of building regulations would not be spared.

The PUNCH had reported that a four-storey building under construction located at Iman street, off Aka road, Uyo, the State capital, collapsed on Saturday, trapping construction workers in the rubble.

The state deputy governor, Mr. Moses Ekpo, who led other government functionaries including the state commissioner of Police, Olatoye Durusinmi, said he was at the scene to have a first-hand information of the situation and to sympathise with those who lost their loves ones in the sad incident.

Speaking while fielding questions from newsmen on Sunday, Mr Ekpo said the State government will set up

an enquiry to find why and how it happened, adding that any one found guilty would be sanctioned.

He said, “I came here first and foremost to sympathise with the families of those who lost their love ones and since I came, this is the question I have been asking, ‘where are the relations?’

“We must also investigate why and how it happened, to ascertain the personalities that are involved.

“It is after the enquiry that the state government would know what to do, but like I said earlier, whoever violate the building regulations, the law must take its course.”

Meanwhile, the Zonal Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency, South South,Godwin Tepikor, who confirmed the casualty figure while speaking with newsmen called for enhanced enforcement of building codes in the country.

He said, “I was informed about this incident about 7pm yesterday (Saturday) and I quickly mobilised relevant stakeholders namely; the federal road safety corps, the Civic Defense, the fire service and the Red Cross.

“And I advised that they should contact any construction company to mobilize their excavator because what we needed was to rescue people alive.

“So, that commenced yesterday (Saturday) up till now and that is what is still going on. So, we have recovered one dead body here and the other died in the hospital because of multiple injuries.”

On what should be done to curb incessant building collapse, he said,” I think that we should enhance enforcement because it is possible that the property got approval and it is possible that the terms of the approval were not followed.

“Substantial material may have been used. So if there was enforcement of building codes we would have been able to stem the tide of building collapse.”