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Two die in Abuja building collapse

08 August 2012, 12:02

Abuja - An uncompleted building on Wednesday collapsed in Dutse Alhaji in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), claiming three lives, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

Nine other persons were injured in the incident that occurred in the early hours of Wednesday.

The National Emergency Management Agency's (NEMA) Public Relations Officer, Mr Yushau Shuaib, confirmed the incidents and the deaths.

NEMA had reported the recovery of two bodies at the beginning of the rescue operations, but a third body was recovered and confirmed dead by rescue operatives as at the time of filling this report.

The agency said that nine persons, who were critically injured were receiving treatment at the Garki General Hospital, in the FCT.

Meanwhile, some eyewitnesses, who spoke with NAN, said that work on the affected building had been put on hold for many years.

Mr Omu-West Babatunde, a resident in the area, said that the building collapsed between 3.30 a.m. and 4 a.m.

Babatunde said that the building was occupied by illegal occupants for a long time.

Mr Ahmed Tijani, another resident of the area, said that the building before the accident, accommodated more than 50 artisans, motor cyclists, water vendors, and refuse disposal boys popularly called ``Mai boula’’.

According to Tijani, some occupants of the building made a narrow escape as they ran out as soon as they heard cracks from the building.

The Chairman of the Bwari Area Council, Mr Peter Yohanna, told NAN that the building located at Ademola Awosika Road, had been abandoned for many years by its owners after it failed an integrity test for approval.

The chairman, who sympathised with the families of the deceased, said N200,000 had been approved by the council for the treatment of the wounded victims.

Mr John Efere, Chief Superintendent Officer, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in the Bwari Area Council, said that rescue operation was still on-going for the rescue of people still suspected to be trapped in the building.

Also commenting on the incident, Mr Mayas Adoyi, Director Engineering, Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) said that investigations into the cause of the collapse would be conducted.

Adoyi said that engineers implicated in the construction of the building would be sanctioned.



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