Paul Obiajunwo, Port Harcourt
Three persons escaped death in a three storey building that collapsed in Alakahia community Obio/Apkor Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The building which is near completion around NYSC road in Alakahia collapsed at about 6 a.m, while neighbours were still asleep.
It was learnt that about three workers at the construction site reside in the building but it could not be ascertained at press time if they were in the building when the collapse occurred.
Although, no trace of trapped body has been found, it was believed that the occupants of the building that is still under construction escaped death.
A cleric, who resides opposite the collapsed building, Pastor Obinna Amefule, narrated that the sound of the fall caused panic in the area as residents trooped out in their numbers.
Amefule expressed fear over the lives of the occupants of the building, wondering why they were not in sight while the crowed was out.
“It was around 6 a.m this morning that we heard a heavy noise and we rushed out of the room to see what happened. We were surprised to see that the building has collapsed.
“We knew that the people that are building the house are living inside there, our fear was that they were inside when the building fell, but I don’t think anything happened to them.”
He expressed displeasure with the quality of job at the site saying, “If you look round the building you will see that there is no pillar there. They used ordinary blocks in place of pillars. Everybody that passed here said this building will not last and it has happened.”
Another resident, who shares boundary with the collapsed building, Solomon Erim, blamed the development on quality of material used for the building.
Erim said, “The fact about the incident that took place beats my imagination. As a resident who saw what happened I am still in shock. It is painful that a man will spend money to erect a building of this magnitude and at the end of the day when the job is almost done the whole building will collapse.
“Looking at the building as one who has supervised a building project before you cannot even see any solid thing that can hold the building. Looking at the decking you will see the rod used is
not appropriate. The engineer of this building has to come out and explained to people what actually happened.”