At least two people have now been confirmed dead after a two-storey building collapsed in Abuja, officials of the emergency response services said.
Twenty-one people have been rescued alive and are responding to treatment, said Abbas Idris, the head of FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
PREMIUM TIMES Thursday reported the death of one person in the building collapse.
Residents and passersby gathered as night fell on Thursday as they joined a team of emergency and aid workers who searched through the rubble looking for survivors.
The building was still under construction when it collapsed into a pile of concrete slabs at noon on Thursday, trapping dozens of people working on the site.
The number of people present on the site at the time of the collapse is still unknown.
Rescue officials said many workers were caught inside the building when it crumbled though they could not confirm the number of people trapped. Witnesses say up to 50 people were missing.
A PREMIUM TIMES reporter at the scene late Thursday night observed how emergency services used excavators to push away concrete slabs in the search for people in the rubble of the two-storey building, which collapsed on Thursday in Gwarinpa estate of Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
Shehu Ahmad, the executive secretary of Federal Capital Development Control (FCDA), described the event as “sad and happened at a time when we are trying to as a nation come out of this issue of building collapses in Nigeria.”
“These are issues that the FCT environment is not prominent with but because of the activities of some quacks, these issues are now happening.”
In the past few years, building collapses have become frequent in Africa’s most populous country. Authorities face accusations of failing to enforce building regulations for safer structures.
But, Mr Ahmad said the FCT administration will ensure any guilty person is punished.
Preliminary report indicates that the land area where this property development is standing doesn’t look stabilized, Mr Ahmad told PREMIUM TIMES on Thursday night.
READ ALSO: Lagos Building Collapse: ‘Owner got approval to construct 15 floors, but
“There’s also a presumption of the use of inferior materials in the construction as well as the workmanship,” he said, adding that the FCT administration will definitely take this seriously.
He said they were going to investigate the causes of the collapse and prevent similar incidents in the future.
“We will also find a lasting solution to this embarrassing situation,” he said.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.Donate
TEXT AD: Call Willie - +2348098788999