Monday, 09 December, 2019

NEMA confirms 13 dead in Plateau building collapse

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has confirmed that 13 persons perished following the collapse of a three-story building on Monday at Butcher line in Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State.

The Head of Research and Rescue of NEMA, North Central Zone, Nurudeen Musa, made the confirmation on Tuesday while speaking to journalists at the scene of the unfortunate incident.

He said the bodies have been buried according to Islamic rites.

Musa said that the storey building had a pharmacy at its ground floor while the other floors were residential apartments.

It was gathered that the ground floor was built about 20 years ago while other floors were added in the last five years.

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The building was said to be undergoing some repairs when it collapsed. It was gathered that a welder who was about to go for prayers also perished inside the building when the landlord begged him to come and make repairs for him.

Musa Head of Research and Rescue of NEMA, said: “Twelve people lost their lives in the incident while four people were injured and are presently receiving treatment in the hospital.”

Acting Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Institute of Civil Engineers Engineer Okey Ezema, who was at the scene of the collapsed building, expressed grieved that people preferred to patronise unqualified engineers for cheap labour.

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He called on the public to stop patronising quacks and consult qualified engineers during building construction for durability.

Meanwhile, Plateau State governor, Simon Lalong, has ordered the Jos Metropolitan Development Board (JMDB) and other relevant agencies to commence the demolition of substandard buildings in the state capital.

Lalong, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Prof. Sonni, Gwanle Tyoden, at the scene of the collapsed building expressed dismay over the sad incident.

He sympathised with those who lost their lives and the survivors of the sad incident who are hospitalised at Plateau Specialist Hospital, Jos and Bingham University Teaching Hospital, Jos.

“This is the most heart-touching story we have heard in recent times and the government sympathises with the affected families.

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“The Jos Metropolitan Development Board (JMDB) and other relevant agencies should start the demolition of all substandard building in the state capital to avoid reoccurrences of building collapse.

Meanwhile, the governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Jeremiah Useni, Plateau North APC senatorial candidate, Hon. Rufus Bature, have commiserated with the community sympathised with the victims.

Useni said: “Most of the buildings in this part of the city are in bad shape and I expect the ministries of Works, Environment and Urban Development to have done something about it.”

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