Ikwerre—No fewer than three persons are feared dead after a building under construction caved in along Isi Ewu road, Nbodo Community in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The PUNCH gathered that the dead victims were labourers working at the site of the two-storey building when the incident occurred.
Though details of the incident were sketchy as of the time of filing this report, it was gathered that the incident occurred on Saturday evening, even as some persons sustained injuries and were rushed to the hospital.
It was also gathered that the intervention of the Ikwerre Local Government Chairman, Dr. Samuel Nwanosike and the operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, prevented more casualties.
The Public Relations Officer of the NSCDC, Rivers State Command, Olufemi Ayodele, confirmed the incident to our correspondent on Sunday morning.
Ayodele in a statement quoted the state Commandant of the NSCDC, Michael Ogar who visited the scene, said the cause of the incident was due to the used of substandard materials.
Ogar, who was represented by the Head of the Rivers NSCDC Disaster Management Rescue Team, Assistant Commandant, James Ngene, disclosed that preliminary investigation revealed that the rods, pillars and blocks used in construction of the two-storey building were far below the required specifications.
The statement reads, “It is high time Nigerians began to take responsibility for their actions most especially when life of humans are involved.
“The collapse of the two-storey building at Aluu in Ikwerre Local Government Area could have actually been avoided if standardised materials and right specifications were used.
“Owners of buildings and landlords are hereby advised to be wary of desperate and quack building contractors who cares only about their pockets and not the lives of innocent people.
“The Rivers State Commandant lauded the Chairman Ikwerre Local Government Area, Hon. Samuel Nwanosike for mobilising three pay loaders and providing the necessary logistics.
“That effort enhanced the rescuing of the victims and recovery of three corpses during a joint rescue operations by NSCDC, National Emergency Management Agency, other security agencies and well-meaning people who worked tirelessly to savage the situation.”
Ogar lauded all others who collaborated with NSCDC operatives in the search and rescue operations, saying “the collapsed building environment has now been cordoned and sealed to prevent further disaster.”
It added, “In furtherance to this, the NSCDC Rivers State Command Crisis Management Department will not relent in carrying out sensitisation and awareness programs to warn the public of imminent dangers and precautionary measures needed to avert both man-made and natural disasters in our environment because prevention is better than cure.”