A middle-aged man, simply identified as Christian, died when a building collapsed at Elu Ohafia in Ohafia Local Government Area of Abia State. Christian, who hails from Ututu in Arochukwu local government area of the state, reportedly had his head crushed following the collapse.
Details about the incident as at press time were sketchy yesterday evening, but sources in the area said the victim died even before help could come to him.
The Abia State Commissioner of Police, CP Okon Eneh, confirmed the incident to newsmen. According to Eneh, it was a case of an accident. He added that investigation was still ongoing. “Available information has it that the building was a colonial house that the owner may have wanted to demolish or remodel. But our investigations are still ongoing.”
However, a civil engineer who gave his name simply as Gilbert, while expressing his sadness over the incident, called on engineers and others working in a construction site to ensure that they carry out safety measures before embarking on any project to avoid such reoccurrence.
Gilbert, however, emphasized on the need for land or house owners to use the services of trained and certified engineers whenever they want to embark on any demolition and repairs of their building.
It would be recalled that a three-storey building that killed one of its occupants at Old Express, off Sameck junction by Faulks road in Aba, the commercial nerve centre of Abia State. The incident followed the collapse of another uncompleted three-storey building at Park road by East after a torrential rain that wrecked havocs in Aba and Umuahia, the Abia State capital.
Meanwhile, about 30 persons died while 76 others sustained injuries from 13 building collapse incidents across the country between February and May 2019. The number of incidents and deaths were computed from figures reported by the regulators and those confirmed by professional bodies.
The findings show that while no single case of building collapse was recorded in January, three cases were recorded in February, four in March, one in April and five in May 2019. The state with the highest frequency of building collapse in the country in the first half of 2019 is Lagos, followed by Abia, Anambra and Oyo.
In the last four months, Lagos witnessed four incidences of building collapse and a total of 21 deaths or 72.4 per cent of the national total.