By Ugochukwu Alaribe

No fewer than 15 scavengers Tuesday sustained injuries as they went on demolition at the A -Line section of the Ariaria International Market, Aba, Abia State.

Abia state government had commenced the rebuilding of the market and asked traders to relocate for demolition works.

Vanguard gathered that the developer of the market had cordoned the project site, but scavengers broke into the area searching for iron and wire materials when the concrete blocks caved in.

An eyewitness said no life was lost in the incident, but some scavengers were trapped in the rubble. They were later rescued by some traders.

“The market developer and his team were not on duty today. They cordoned off the project site, but the scavengers stole into the area and started demolishing buildings while searching for iron and wire materials. Some of them were injured while others got trapped.

The trapped scavengers have been rescued and are now receiving medical attention. No life has been lost, but most of them sustained life threatening injuries,” the eyewitness said.

Abia State government had warned the scavengers against obstructing excavating machines while searching for iron materials and wires at the project site.

Scavengers have broken into some shops and looted goods. Last week, the rubble also fell on some scavengers who sustained severe injuries as they went in search of iron materials while demolition works were ongoing. 

Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, stated that the upsurge in the number of scavengers at the project site is delaying the efforts of the developer to meet up with the December deadline set by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu to deliver a modern market and hand over shops to all existing allottees and advised parents to warn their children to keep off the project site as security agents have been placed on red alert to arrest and prosecute defaulters.

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