Abakaliki - A three-storey building under construction collapsed on Thursday evening in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi capital, with no life lost.
The building, located at Nibo Street, has been under construction for over three years and had reached the roofing level.
Chief Ogodo-Ali Nome, Ebonyi Commissioner for Environment, who visited the scene, noted that the owner of the building and site engineer were still at large.
“They would be prosecuted because they violated the state’s building construction provisions which the government seriously frowns at.
“We directed that those who want to erect buildings should contact relevant government officials with their building plans for necessary recommendations and directives,he said.
The commissioner remarked that the building collapsed due to poor quality of work and materials used in erecting a building of such magnitude.
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“The building had even overstayed, as we discovered that 8 and 12 millimetre rods were used to construct it instead of 16 and 20mm.
“We discovered at some sections of the debris, that 8 and 10mm rods were used, while the space between the rods used for the 'decking' is about 8 inches instead of 6 inches.
“The owner when found, would be made to pull down the remaining structure and evacuate the debris because it poses danger to inhabitants of the area,” he said.
Reverend Ephraim Ononye, Chairman of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) decried the poor plan and materials used in erecting the building.
“We are however happy that no life was lost or injuries recorded in the incident, as God was graceful for the collapse to occur at this time.
“One could imagine the consequences if the building was inhabited by people or the collapse occurring at night and hurting passérs- bye,” he said.
Daniel Okoro, an inhabitant of the area, noted that block-works were last carried in January, as it was currently waiting to be roofed.