By PETER OKUTU
ABAKALIKI—NO fewer than 21 persons yesterday escaped death by the whiskers after a two-storey building under construction collapsed.
It was alleged that substandard materials used in the construction of the building which occurred at Mater Misericordae Hospital Afikpo, Ebonyi State, was responsible for the collapsed.
The collapsed building is allegedly owned by the Catholic Church.
Vanguard gathered that that no life was lost in the incident, but some workers including labourers, masons sustained various degrees of injuries and are now receiving treatment in the hospital.
Recounting his ordeal, one of the workers, Mr. Francis Eluu said, “I was in the building with the concrete I was carrying on the head when I started hearing sound then I ran for my dear life but before I could escaped, rubble fell on my back and injured me seriously. So, out 21 of us working at the site, seven sustained serious injuries while others escaped.”
Another eyewitness (name withheld), told Vanguard that the cause of the collapsed building was yet to be ascertained, but claimed the building materials used were not of high quality, saying “if you look at the building you will know that sand was more than the cement and the irons are smaller than the building.”
When Vanguard visited the site, there was an excavator machine removing the debris of the collapsed building from the site as people around the hospital expressed fear that another two storey building being erected by the same contractor might also collapse because according them, the contractor could have used the similar substandard material on the building.
Efforts to speak with the Rev. Father in-charge of the hospital, Fr. Charles Otu proved abortive.