June 13, 2024

The Daily Vendor

Nigeria Digital Newspaper

Updated: 5 dead, 26 rescued in Onitsha collapsed building

3 min read

A building under construction collapsed Monday night in Odu-Igbo Market, Ochanja, Onitsha, Anambra State.

The incident occurred around Ochanja market area of the commercial city at about 8.00pm.

A resident who preferred anonymity said the building caved in while some workers were working on top of the roof.

He disclosed that one person lost his life while two others sustained varying degrees of injury.

He said the victims have been taken to the hospital for treatment.

State Fire Service Chief, Engr Martin Agbili who confirmed the incident, said rescue operation is currently ongoing.

He said, “Building collapse around Ochanja Market Area, Onitsha that happened at about 2000hrs (8.00pm) of Monday 26-02-2024.

“There are some trapped individuals at the scene of the building collapse. Rescue operation is currently ongoing.”

Meanwhile, Governor Chukwuma Soludo has expressed deep sadness at the incident, describing it as “tragic and an incident that was not supposed to happen.”

Addressing a large crowd at the scene of the incident during an emergency visit to the site, the Governor announced that 26 persons had been rescued and hospitalized, five casualties recorded, with rescue efforts ongoing to locate those still trapped under the rubbles.

He expressed deep condolences to the families of those who lost their lives, revealing that the hospital bills of those receiving treatment would be undertaken by the government.

He emphasized his commitment to tackling the issue of illegal constructions and impunity in the state, revealing that the collapsed building was erected by a private developer without government approval.

He said, “The contractor at his own cost will come and put down the illegal buildings he erected here,” Governor Soludo declared 

“They are all going to come down. My government did not approve of this building. We will redesign this area and build it properly.”

Governor Soludo went on to announce a series of measures to address the issue.

“All buildings constructed without proper approval will be brought down henceforth, including structures currently under construction at other markets.

“A comprehensive inventory of buildings in Anambra markets and public places will be conducted.

“Markets will undergo integrity tests to identify and remove potentially unsafe structures and individuals found responsible for illegal construction will face legal consequences.”

The Governor emphasized the importance of prioritizing public safety and vowed to eradicate “the impunity and lawlessness” surrounding unauthorized construction.

The Governor stated, “We can’t afford to waste one life because of the greed of a few.

“This event highlights the importance of adhering to construction regulations and the Governor’s commitment to ensuring public safety in Anambra State.”

Earlier, Chairman of Ochanja Market, Mr. Bonaventure Mmuo pledged to disseminate the Governor’s message to all market leaders in the state.

The Governor was accompanied by various government officials, including the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr Ernest Ezeajughi, Chief of Protocol, Mr. Chinedu Nwoye, Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Felix Odimegwu, Commissioner for Information Sir Paul Nwosu, MD ANSIPPA, Mr. Mark Okoye, Chairman, Anambra Urban Regeneration Council, Architect Mike Okonkwo, Special Adviser to the Governor on Markets Evarist Ubah among others.

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