Three  Dead, Scores Trapped as Commercial Complex Collapses in Abuja

Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja

Three persons were reported dead while over 50 people  trapped when a two-storey commercial complex under construction, collapsed yesterday at 7th Avenue, Gwarinpa Estate in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

An eye-witness, John Edwin, said over 40 site workers were hefting blocks to the last floor of the building when it suddenly went down.

Edwin said the ill-fated structure was occupying a place believed to be a reserved green area.

He tasked the relevant authorities to hold the management of Federal Housing Authority (FHA) liable  for indiscriminate allocation of the green areas to developers of the commercial complex.

The Director Development Control, Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Muktar Galadima, confirmed the incident.

He said 20 workers trapped in the collapsed building were rescued and taken to hospital.

A combined team of first respondent officials from several agencies carried out rescue mission at the site. There were four excavators brought by the Federal Fire Service and National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

The Coordinator, Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC) Umar Shuaibu, said the council would not ascribe blame to anybody.

He noted that investigation would commence immediately to ascertain both the remote and immediate cause of the collapse.

Meanwhile, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has slammed the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) over the collapsed two-storey commercial complex under construction at Gwarinpa District.

The Executive Secretary of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) Shehu Hadi said there had been indiscriminate changes in land use within the district.

The indictment happened three days after the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, complained during the PMB Scorecard 2015- 23 Scorecard Series of conflicting regulations on Gwarinpa Estate between FHA and FCTA, even when Gwarimpa is a creation of the Federal Government domiciled within Abuja.

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