FOUR persons have been confirmed dead after a building under construction collapsed in Agbama Housing Estate, Umuahia, Abia state capital.
Four other persons sustained various degrees of injury and are now receiving treatment at the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia.
The identity of the victims was not ascertained as at press time. However, unconfirmed information pieced together from some residents claimed that a family of four was involved.
The incident occurred Wednesday night at about 8 o’clock which threw the entire Umuahia city into confusion as no such a thing has ever happened here before.
The reason for the collapse of the building was not clear but residents alleged that the owner was trying to extend the building originally designed for one storey to three stories without proper reinforcement.
Regrettably, the collapsed structure was said to belong to popular building materials merchant in the city.
The incident happened when the National Emergency Management Agency [NEMA] was holding a seminar in Umuahia. NEMA officials who arrived the town that evening rushed to the scene to assist in the rescue efforts.
Security agencies, the Red Cross and other paramilitary agencies were all involved in the rescue exercise. A construction company and the state ministry of works moved in their equipments to assist in the evacuation effort.
Early visitors to the scene were the deputy governor of the state, Chief Emeka Ananaba, outgoing Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Mgba Agu Mgba, the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 9 and the commissioner of Police, Usman Tilli Abuabakar. Governor Theodore Orji is out of the state in an official assignment in Abuja.
The deputy governor later went to the hospital to see the wounded and urged the hospital management to take proper care of them.