Survivors of the building collapse incident in Dutse Alhaji area of Bwari Area Council in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have narrated how the search for food saved the lives of most of the occupants of the uncompleted storey building.
Eyewitnesses told LEADERSHIP that the uncompleted storey building located on Ademola Awosika Road collapsed in the early hours of yesterday at about 3:30am, killing three persons with nine others severely injured.
One of the survivors, Yahaya Isah, who said there were over 100 people resident in the building, told our reporter that most of them were Muslims observing the Ramadan fast, and that they had gone out in search of food at the the building collapsed.
“There are more than 100 people living in this house, but most of the people had gone to search for food at about three o’clock because they are fasting.
“One of us, Habibu, heard the sound of the imminent collapse and ran in to tell us about it, but some of us were reluctant and before he could come out, it happened. He was the last person they removed his dead body,” Isa said.
Another survivor, Biliah Samaila, said many of those living in the building were labourers and artisans, including motorcyclists, scavengers popularly called ‘mai bola’, water vendors and mechanics, adding that they were given access to the building by the security guard on the property.
A resident of the area, Mr. Ahmed Tijani, said some of the occupants of the building escaped death narrowly, as they heard cracks from the building and scampered to safety before it caved in, noting that the uncompleted two-storey building had been abandoned for many years before its collapsed yesterday.
One of the first rescuers at the scene, Bala Umar attributed the collapse to heavy rainfall in the area, even as he noted that the collapse may have been caused by another structure erected on top of the already weak building.
Meanwhile, piqued by frequent cases of building collapse in the country, professional bodies that are in charge of building in the nation yesterday converged on Lagos to chart a way out of the menace which industry watchers now describe as a national shame.
The professionals who came together under the aegis of Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG) lamented that at a time other countries of the world were taking buildings to the skies, Nigeria was still battling with the problem of building collapse.