Construction workers still trapped two days after Anambra building collapse

Two construction workers are still trapped in the collapsed two-storey building at Agbani-Ifite, near Awka in Anambra, two days after the incident.

The building which collapsed on June 6 killed three persons with some survivors now receiving treatment at Izundu Hospital in Awka.

Rescue was still in progress on Friday with volunteers removing debris with shovels and bare-hands.

The Director of the Anambra State Emergency Management Agency (ASEMA), Nwabufo Ijezie, however, told reporters that it was difficult getting an earth mover to the site, due to the swampy nature of the area.

“We have been to the site to recover four persons, two rescued alive and two already dead but one person later died at the hospital.

“We have made contact to get amphibious earth mover from Onitsha and have written the State Government concerning that but we are finding it difficult to get the equipment.

“We have equally brought a construction company in Awka to the site and they also complained of the swampy nature of the area,” Mr. Ijezie said.

The commissioner said that he is not in a position to know if the construction workers are still alive or not.

Ifeanyi Ejikeme, the state’s Chief Inspector of the Council for the Registration of Engineers in Nigeria (COREN), expressed worry over the poor quality work by the engineer handling the project.

Mr. Ejikeme, who spoke after inspecting the site, attributed the collapse to what he termed “structural failure”. 

He regretted that the state still harbours quacks in the engineering profession, urging developers to always patronise licensed engineers, so that in the event of a collapsed structure, such persons could be identified for sanction. 

The chief inspector said that he was at the site to carry out structural analysis on the project for onward report to the State Government.

Also speaking, Chris Ndubuisi, the Awka Branch Chairman of COREN, expressed worry over the increasing number of collapsed buildings in the state, calling for strict enforcement of regulations. 

Christian Okonkwo, a former Chairman of the Anambra State Branch of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, appealed to ASEMA to urgently rescue the trapped workers.

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