By Luka Binniyat
KADUNA — A three-storey building, said to have been built over 101 years ago, yesterday, collapsed in Kaduna metropolis, trapping all the tenants that were inside at the time of the incident.
No fewer than 50 people were in the building as the time of the incident and only five children, a woman and one other man had been rescued at press time as there were no equipment to carry out the operation.
This was even as some of the victims continued to hit the walls of the collapsed building, screaming for help.
A middle-aged woman and occupants of the building collapsed on seeing the ruins, after shouting “my children, my children!”
She was taken to one of the nearby hospitals by men of the state’s Operation Yaki in a vehicle with number plate KAF 251 AA.
Sources said the building, located along Hadeja Road by Ibrahim Taiwo Road, had its three top floors as residential homes, while the ground floor was used for trading.
It was said that the building, which collapsed at 2.32p.m., attracted passers-by and neighbours, which security men found difficult to control.
Gov, deputy seek help
Vanguard learnt that Governor Muktar Yero and his deputy, Nuhu Bajoga, cut short other state functions and participated in the efforts to rescue the victims.
They were said to have called relevant agencies to move down their rescue equipment to the site of the collapsed building.
Bajoga later sent the manager of one of the construction firms in the state, PWD, to ask for bulldozers and other equipment to hasten the rescue operation.
Some officials of the State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, at the scene of were helpless in the chaotic environment as they had no rescue equipment.
SEMA’s Public Relations Officer, PRO, who was approached for comments by newsmen said: “Please, my friends, hold on. This is not the time to talk to the press, you can see that we are making efforts to get equipment.”
Resource Management Coordinator of the Nigeria Red Cross Society in the state, Mr. BJ Charles, said: “We came with a team to see the number of casualties that we can assist.
“But as I talk to you, there are no casualties yet. We are advising that they should get bulldozers from the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, to enable them start the rescue operation.
“NEMA is in a position to provide equipment for the rescue operation, unless there is a bulldozer to lift the collapsed materials, there is nothing we can do to rescue the victims.
“We have our ambulance standing by with our team well positioned.”
‘I wish I were not born’
However, the Nigerian Army, Civil Defence Force and the Nigeria Police personnel were said to have formed a ring around the building to keep people away from the trapped persons.
Some sympathisers complained that although the victims were suffocating inside the collapsed building, the security personnel would not allow them to start the job.
One of the onlookers said: “They are suffocating. The military men would not rescue them and they would not allow us do it. I wish I were not born to see this.”