Daily Trust

5 dead, 26 rescued in Onitsha collapsed building

- From Titus Eleweke, Awka

Anambra State Governor, Prof. Charles Soludo, has disclosed that five people were killed while 26 others were rescued when a two-storey building collapsed at Odu-Igbo Market, Ochanja, Onitsha.

The governor spoke at site of the collapsed building on Tuesday in Onitsha.

According to Soludo, rescue efforts are still ongoing to save those still trapped under the rubble.

The governor also stated that the state government will pay the medical bills of those receiving treatment in the hospitals.

He also expressed deep condolence­s to the families of those who lost their lives in the ugly incident.

Soludo also ordered the contractor handling the collapsed building to clear the debris at his own cost.

He said the impunity of building with unapproved plans has remained one of the major problems in the state.

“This kind of impunity of building without approved plans is what the state government wants to stop. I had wanted the builder to be here and explain why he will build this kind of structure in the market without government approval. I was informed he is not around,” he stated.

He instructed that buildings shall only be erected in any Anambra market with approval from the state physical planning and his signature affixed.

“I must sign all building plans for markets before the contractor­s could commence constructi­on in any market,” he added.

He also emphasised government’s commitment towards tackling the issue of illegal constructi­ons and impunity in the state, noting that the collapsed building was erected by a private developer without government approval.

“The contractor at his own cost will come and put down the illegal buildings he erected here,”

“They are all going to come down. My government did not approve of this building. We will redesign this area and build it properly,” he stated.

The governor also said that markets in the state will undergo integrity tests to identify and remove potentiall­y unsafe structures while individual­s found responsibl­e for illegal constructi­on will face legal consequenc­es.

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