Two people have been feared dead and over 40 others allegedly trapped under the rubbles of a two storey suspended building which collapsed on Thursday at 7th Avenue, Gwarinpa in the nation’s capital, Abuja.
NigeriaCrime.com gathered that the building, a commercial complex under construction was sited in a “Green Area”, a violation of the Abuja Master Plan.
According to an eyewitness, Kayode Shola, workers at the site, especially labourers conveying blocks to the top, were over 50. It was not immediately clear if all of them were in the building at the time of the incident.
He claimed to have lived in the area for many years, and that he has always known the place to be a reserved green area but which was violated by the FHA.
Kayode urged relevant authorities to call the management of the Federal Housing Authority to question, for illegally allocating green areas to commercial developers.
Emergency responders and security personnel have since cordoned off the premises as part of rescue operations.
Meanwhile, Executive Secretary of the Federal Capital Development Authority, FCDA, Engr. Shehu Hadi who was at the scene lamented that there have been indiscriminate changes in land use within the district.
It will be recalled that Gwarinpa District is an area allocated to the Federal Housing Authority FHA by the FCT Administration for the development of mass housing estates.
Meanwhile, FHA’s Kenneth Chigelu Head Public Affairs acknowledged that the developers compromised the approval granted to them.
Chigelu said; “Preliminary findings revealed that approval for two floors was granted to the developer, who decided to add an extra floor to the structure”.
Meanwhile following the unfortunate collapse of a 3-storey building under construction in Gwarinpa, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command has pledged the support of the command to aid the activation of Building Regulatory and Investigative Bodies within the FCT.
FCT Police CP, Sadiq Abubakar who disclosed this at the site of the collapsed building said necessary deployment to assist with the ongoing rescue of victims and ensuring the safety of the general area has been done.
The CP assured that the FCT Police would provide all necessary support to ensure the ease of the rescue operations and to ensure hoodlums do not take advantage of the situation.
Describing the situation as very unfortunate, he called on the residents of the area to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious movement to the Police.
He prayed that the victims, especially those reportedly trapped under the rubble, would be rescued and stabilized accordingly.
Furthermore, he urged the public to maintain vigilance and report suspicious activities to the police through the emergency numbers: 08032003913, 08061581938, 07057337653, and 08028940883.