Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, has directed the Abia State Environmental Protection Agency and the Aba South LGA Town Planning Authority to immediately ensure full and safe demolition of the partially collapsed 3-storey building along Azikiwe Road in Aba.
The Commissioner for Information in the state Chief John Okiyi-Kalu, disclosed this in Umuahia the capital on Wednesday.
He said, “The Government received with sadness news of the collapse of the 3-storey building which was under construction in the early hours of today and the Governor immediately directed relevant agencies to the location as well as mobilized earth moving equipment to the site on a search and rescue mission. So far, we have one confirmed fatality and those on site are working to see if there are others trapped in the rubble”.
On the possible cause of the collapsed, Okiyi-Kalu, said investigations were ongoing by goverment and security agents including men of the state police command, fire service and town planning authorities already at the site.
He observed that preliminary information indicates that the plan for the building had yet to be approved with on site evaluations indicating that the materials used to construct the collapsed part of the structure might be sub-standard.
Okiyi-Kalu, further added that security agents are currently on the hunt for the building engineer and developer of the property.
He also revealed that most of part of the building was hurriedly put up during the COVID-19 lockdown period with a view to possibly evade the town planning authorities.
The Comissioner warned that government will not tolerate a repeat of the situation where buildings are indiscriminately erected without proper approval and supervision, and assured that government will get to the root of the matter and ensure that all those found culpable in this particular instance are prosecuted.