3 dead, 20 rescued as over 50 still trapped in Abuja building collapse



At least three people were confirmed dead, 20 rescued as over 50 persons remain trapped in yesterday’s building collapse in the Gwarinpa District of Abuja.

Confirming the incident, Director Development Control, Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Muktar Galadima, said that rescue operation was ongoing with combined team of several agencies.

He said that those rescued from the collapsed two storey Commercial complex under construction have been taken to the hospital.

The Coordinator, Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), Umar Shuaibu, said that while the council is yet to appropriate blame to anybody, he noted that investigation will be launched immediately to ascertain both the remote and immediate cause of the collapse.

“When the monitoring officers, leave the site and leave the contractor or the developers what they do outside is a different thing entirely. We have to make sure that it is the professionals that are supervising, most of the quacks are involved. When you have quackery anything can happen, however, we are on top of the situation.

“Things like this are very rare in Abuja because of the standard monitoring that we engaged from the monitoring of the city side. Housing Housing Authority also has their professionals. We are going to hold to ensure that they do the right thing especially those who are involved in this development and definitely if there are punishment to be meted on the actual people that appropriately but now we are focusing on lives to be rescued.

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“Responding to the question on the rescue mission being slow, he said, you can say it’s slow because you are not the one that is involved and you don’t know the enominty of challenges. The slabs that are over the victims reguired a machine to lift them up.

You can see how many machines that are here and you said it’s slow. For an operation like this, we have four escavators working, we have Federal Fire Service, NEMA, all the machines need to conduct this operation are here. In fact, we are very fast , operations like this , at times take two three days before you get to the bottom of the shambles.”

According to an eye witness, John Edwin said the workers in the site, especially laborers conveying blocks to the top, were over 40.

He claimed to have lived in the area for many years, and that he has always known the place to be a reserved green area.

Edwin urged relevant authorities to call the management of Federal Housing Authority to question, for illegally allocating Green areas to commercial complex.

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