Six persons were feared trapped yesterday under the rubble of a four-storey building that collapsed in Onitsha, Anambra State. The incident happened on No. 7, Ezenwa Street, Onitsha.
An eyewitness said eight persons were under the building when the four-storey building under construction caved in at about 1:45p.m. The source said those trapped were six labourers, including the site engineer.
The cause of the collapse has not been determined. Meanwhile, a rescue team on site was left helpless with no equipment to undertake their rescue operation.
The Divisional Police Officer for Onitsha Central Police Station, Ifeanyi Iburu, led a team of security operatives to the scene. Other rescue teams were Red Cross officers and sister security agencies. Sympathizers and passersby also joined in the rescue mission.
Confirming the incident, the chairman, Red Cross Society in Anambra State, Prof. Peter Katchy, said the rescued casualties had been rushed to the hospital for medical attention.
He said: “One of the persons rescued by Red Cross is in the intensive care unit at Holy Rosary Hospital Waterside, Onitsha; while another is at the General Hospital, Onitsha.
“Four are still trapped under the debris of the collapsed building, including the site engineer. The excavator and an Earth Moving Vehicle have just arrived now.”
It was gathered that the building is owned by a lawyer whose identity was not disclosed. Some of the sympathizers blamed the building engineer for using substandard materials for the construction.
Meanwhile, one of the trapped persons was making calls inside the debris, an indication that some of them might still be alive.
According to a source, “they were working at the site when suddenly, we heard loud sound, which happened to be the building that collapsed. People came to rescue three persons but others are still buried in the debris,” the source said, urging the state government to come with heavy equipment to rescue others. “What is needed here is something like excavator or bulldozer. It needs machines to raise the wreckages”.