Two persons have been confirmed dead following Friday’s collapse of a seven-storey building, which is under construction along Woji Road in New GRA, Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
The state commissioner for Information and Communications, Hon. Emma Okah, who disclosed this in a statement made available to newsmen in Port Harcourt yesterday, said over 30 persons have been rescued from the rubbles of the collapsed building.
Okah said state government emergency team has carried out an all night exercise in order to rescue all trapped persons following a directive to that effect by governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike.
He said,”Still on the collapsed private 7-storey building in Port Harcourt. So far, over 30 persons have been rescued although two are feared dead.
“Rivers State government organised emergency response team is still on ground and will so be till the last person is rescued.
“Governor Nyesom Ezenwo who is on official duty abroad has directed that no effort or cost should be spared to save all the trapped persons.”
Meanwhile, the lawmaker representing Port Harcourt constituency 1 in the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Victoria Nyeche, has described the collapse of the building along Woji Road, New GRA as unfortunate
Nyeche said it was saddening that people would be carrying out such magnitude of building without adequate supervision from regulatory bodies
She cautioned against the use of sub standard materials for building and stressed the need for qualified engineers to be engaged for construction and supervision of building to avoid future collapse
The lawmaker said,”It is very unfortunate that we are still witnessing such things at this point in time, and to know that people are trapped in there and were yet to be rescued even after several hours after the incident occurred is really saddening.
“There is a need to ensure that materials pass through testing before they are used, there is need to ensure that buildings are carried out according to specifications and that qualified engineers actually supervise such buildings.
“We should not just have a situation where anybody that calls himself an engineer can just go out there and be allowed to supervise buildings.”
Nyeche blamed the ministry of Urban Development of failing in their responsibility to ensure adequate supervision of building constructions while reiterating her call for the establishment a state emergency management agency
She said,”If such a high rise building can be going on in the heart of the city without being stopped, it just tells you that somebody has approved that kind of substandard building in the city of Port Harcourt.
“It is a failure on the part of the Ministry of Urban Development that such building would be taking place and the lives of people would be put to risk, it is very unfortunate.”