Abuja Building Collapse

Two persons died on Friday while no fewer than 18 persons including women and children were trapped under a building which collapsed in Jabi area of Abuja.

It was gathered that the four-storied building which had been abandoned for about 15 years collapse after an additional floor was added to it.

About five persons were rescued shortly after the collapsed, but two of them identified as the project engineer and foreman died shortly after.

Newsmen, who were at the scene, observed that the building which was under construction when it collapsed had over 25 people inside.

Rescue officials were said to have rescued about six persons while a corpse has been evacuated.

Meanwhile, the heavy rain at the time the incident occurred hampered rescue operations.

Various rescue equipment were deployed at the scene by officials of the National Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Capital Territory Emergency Agency.

The incident led to a serious traffic gridlock as a section of the road was blocked.

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo visited the site briefly and encouraged the rescue workers to double their efforts in rescuing the trapped victims.

A tricycle rider, Mustapha Musa said his brother, Ali Mohammed, 30, was among the five victims that were rescued, but he died while being taken to the hospital.

“I took him to the site around 10am and I said I would come back and take him home. I got home and went to the mosque. When I learnt about the collapse, I came down here and I saw my brother being taken to the hospital, but he died,” he narrated.

Musa, who was very agitated, disclosed that his younger brother, Aliu, 23, was among those trapped under the rubble.

He stated that the workers were mobilised to the site about three months ago by the contractor.

A resident, Tersoo Achin, blamed alleged compromise by the Development Control Department officials for the collapse, noting that they might have extorted money from the building owner and turned a blind eye to alleged unsavoury practices by the contractor.

“This building had been abandoned for about 15 years, but they started work on it recently and I have been seeing Development Control officials going to see the owner of the building.

“ I’m sure they must have collected bribes from him because they ought to have carried out integrity tests before permitting him to start construction on the abandoned site,” he said.

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