Building Collapse Claims Four in Delta

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Omon-Julius Onabu and
Sylvester Idowu in Warri

A three-storey building under construction in Abraka, Ethiope East Local Government Area, Delta State yesterday collapsed, killing at least four construction workers.

Apart from death cases recorded, THISDAY learnt that several construction workers sustained varying degree of injury due to the incident.

It was gathered that the hotel building, known as New 206 Hotel, located along Aghwana Avenue in Abraka collapsed during downpour, which started on Friday.

After the incident yesterday, THISDAY gathered that the owner of the building, Christopher Onojakpenuri had disappeared having heard about the number of casualties.
The building collapsed few weeks after a similar incident occurred in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State that also killed scores of construction workers.

Although the cause of the Abraka incident could not be immediately ascertained, eyewitness accounts told THISDAY that it had been raining in Abraka since Friday evening which might be responsible for the collapse of the hotel coupled with the use of sub standard materials.

One of the accounts explained that some of the workers, who slept over night in the building were mostly the victims of the collapsed hotel building.

According to the account, there were nine persons who slept in the building the preceding night, five managed to escape while the remaining four were not as lucky.

He said: “Nine construction workers slept in the building. One of them came out at about 5:00 a.m. to urinate. While returning, he discovered that a section of the building was collapsing.

“He rushed in to wake his colleagues. Five of them managed to get out before the building finally came down. Four were trapped in the building. Three of them were found dead and the last victim yet to be discovered.

“From what I gathered, the building fell between 5:30am and 6:00am. It could be as a result of the heavy rains since. It is still under construction. Any other reason could be responsible for the incident,” the witness said.

The Delta State Police Command through its Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Onome Onowakpoyeya yesterday confirmed the incident, though did not give any record of death.

Onowakpoyeya, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, said the incident “is true there has been a building, a hotel still under construction. We have no record of death because from what we know for now, it is still under construction.”