Building Collapsed in Abuja, 2 People Confirmed Dead
On Wednesday night, a tragic incident unfolded in Abuja as a two-story building collapsed, resulting in the loss of at least two lives, according to accounts shared with Premuim Times by residents.
Situated on Lagos Street in Garki, one of the neighborhoods in Nigeria's capital city, the structure, which served both residential and commercial purposes, crumbled around 11 p.m. The collapse caught occupants off-guard, including Aminu Idriss, who recounted his experience to the newspaper. Idriss, an inhabitant of the collapsed building, had just returned from his work and was seeking rest when the building unexpectedly collapsed upon him and his siblings.
"Upon entering, we were suddenly met with a devastating turn of events; the structure collapsed, causing us harm," Idriss conveyed in pidgin English. "Our siblings lost their lives, and several individuals sustained injuries." Emergency response organizations, including the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), swiftly arrived at the scene to evacuate debris and ascertain if anyone was trapped.
FEMA's Director General, Abbas Idris, verified the casualties, explaining, "We managed to rescue 37 individuals, out of which two lost their lives due to severe injuries. We've transferred them to hospitals across the city."
The rescue operation initiated on Wednesday night and persisted until a thorough search was conducted to ensure no one remained trapped. When it came to determining the exact number of residents within the building, Abbas Idris clarified, "We lack precise statistics. Our attempts to ascertain the exact number of occupants were inconclusive, which is why we're exploring the core of the incident."
Charity Yusuf, a resident living across the street from the collapsed building, disclosed that occupants were advised to vacate the premises earlier due to its compromised state. Unfortunately, this advice went unheeded, resulting in the unfortunate event. "The building was already showing signs of collapse, and occupants had been warned to leave. Regrettably, they chose to remain, and this tragic incident occurred," Yusuf recounted.
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Nyesom Wike, the newly appointed Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), arrived at the scene on Thursday morning and took decisive action by ordering the arrest of the building's owner. Wike assured the public that the FCT administration would cover the medical expenses of those injured. He referenced his initial address upon assuming office, emphasizing the significance of adhering to building standards. "This incident underscores the essence of our prior statement: individuals construct structures without adhering to the necessary standards," Wike stated. He reiterated his commitment to rectifying the situation by demolishing illegal structures as part of the efforts to restore the Abuja Master Plan.
In the aftermath of the disaster, many residents who had lived in the collapsed building lingered near the excavation site, hopeful to retrieve any remnants of their belongings trapped within the wreckage. The incident serves as a sobering reminder of the importance of maintaining building integrity and complying with safety standards to prevent such heartbreaking incidents.
Source: Premuim Times