Rivers Govt. Begins Probe as Building Collapse injures Four

The Rivers State Government, on Thursday, announced that investigation had commenced to find out what led to the collapse of a two-storey building that injured no fewer than four persons on Rumuoke Street, off Okilton Junction, Ada George Road, in the Port Harcourt area of the state.

This was disclosed by the state governor, Siminalayi Fubara, in a statement released through his media aide, Boniface Onyedi, charged relevant government agencies to immediately fish out those involved in the project and said the state government must find out the immediate and remote causes of the incident.

The statement read in part, “The Ministry of Urban Development is to take immediate action by conducting site investigations and site inspections.

“The destructive testing and non-destructive testing of collapsed structural elements to establish their strength by the determination of the yield strength of the reinforcements and sieve analysis of the soil at the site, to ascertain the immediate and remote causes of the building collapse.

“If there is any compromise by those involved in the project, they will be prosecuted to serve as a deterrent to others.”

While sympathizing with the four injured men whom he visited at the hospital, Fabura said the doctors treating the victims gave the assurance that they would be discharged in a few days as they were already in stable condition.

He said the government had urgently mobilised earth-moving equipment to the site to evacuate the debris of the collapsed building, adding that the site has been cordoned off.

PUNCH Metro gathered that labourers were engaging in construction activities when the building suddenly caved in and trapped some victims.

An eyewitness, who gave his name simply as Tonye, said people in the area got to know that the building had collapsed when they heard a loud sound, adding that the sound sent shivers down the spines of residents.

Explaining that the cause of the collapse was yet to be ascertained, Tonye said some of the labourers working at the site were living in the building under construction.

He stated, “What we saw was that the three persons rescued this morning were still alive and they were taken to the hospital. We are aware that some people including those laying the tiles of the building also live in the building. Right now, we don’t know whether there are other casualties.”

A female resident, who spoke anonymously to our correspondent for security reasons, said when they approached the scene of the building collapse, they saw a man crawling out of the rubble of the collapsed structure and quickly rushed to rescue him.

She, however, noted that some of the workers had earlier raised the alarm after spotting a crack in the building under construction.

“Some workers said they noticed some cracks in the building and informed their co-workers who were in the building but they didn’t hear because they were playing loud music.

“After that observation, the building started shaking, so the ones downstairs ran away. The next thing we saw was the building collapsing. We just pray that those injured survive,” the resident said.

The state Commissioner for Special Duties, Emeka Woke, during an on-the-spot assessment of the scene, had earlier said the state government would investigate the cause of the building collapse.

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