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Many trapped in Anambra building collapse, rescue ongoing

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An unknown number of persons have been trapped following the collapse of a building under construction at the Ochanja Market area of Onitsha, Anambra State Monday evening.

It was gathered that the building, meant to serve as a market on completion, collapsed at about 6pm on Monday, with some of the workers still inside the building.

The situation created panic around the area as passers-by and residents made efforts to rescue the trapped victims from the rubble.

As of the time of filing this report, a source near the area said over eight persons has been feared dead and leaving many others with varying degrees of injury, while rescue operations are still ongoing.

Many people are currently trapped under a two-storey building that collapsed at Ochanja Market area of the Onitsha South Local Government Area of Anambra State.

When our correspondent contacted the Secretary of the Onitsha South Local Government Area of Anambra State, Mr Paul Onuachalla, who confirmed the incident, said many people were still trapped under the building as of Tuesday morning when this report was filed.

According to him, those around the building said they heard noise before it collapsed.

According to him, the council is still trying to know the actual number of people trapped.

Mr. Onuachalla also disclosed that the Council has set up a seven man Committee of Enquiry to investigate the remote and immediate causes of the collapse.

He said the Committee is made up of a Police officer, a building engineer and other relevant professionals in the building industry.

“We want to first of all sympathize with the victims of the building collapse on Monday and, as I speak with you the Onitsha South local government Emergency Management Agency is working hand in gloves with the Anambra State Fire Service and the Health Department to ensure safe rescue of victims and provide medical assistance.

“This incident is simply an act of sabotage on the part of some traders who instead of following the due process and Building Code they chose to compromise the law and undertake the project themselves.

“The Council is setting up a seven man Committee of Enquiry to investigate the immediate and remote causes of the building Collapse and the Committee membership would include a Police personnel a building engineer and other relevant bodies in the sector.

“But this also goes to vindicate the Onitsha South Local Government Council about our strict compliance with the Building Code and other relevant laws guiding the construction of permanent structures in the area.

“We as a government have made spirited efforts to ensure that the rules of Building Codes are respected but some sections of the public see it as witch hunting or targeting them, this time no defaulter would be speared,” Mr. Onuachalla added.

Our correspondent efforts to confirm the incident from the Anambra State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, and an official of the Anambra State Emergency Management Agency (ANSEMA), failed as none of them answered calls made to them nor responded to messages sent to at the time of filing this report.

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