A building housing about 15 shops in Ekeoha Shopping Centre Aba, on Wednesday, broke apart and caved in as traders got ready for the day’s business.
The affected shops located in Zone 13 of the market were said to have collapsed Wednesday morning while traders were settling in.
Fortunately, no lives were lost and no injury was recorded as those within promptly escaped when someone raised the alarm of unusual cracks on the walls of the building.
Reacting, Abia State Governor, Dr. Alex Otti, ordered immediate evacuation and seal-off of the collapsed block.
In a press statement by Kazie Uko, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Governor Otti, who commiserated with traders whose shops were affected, described the tragic incident as unfortunate and avoidable, saying it was part of the rot of the past administration that the present government is trying to correct.
The statement reads; “Reports reaching me from traders in the market suggest that this tragic and unfortunate incident is as a result of greed by officials of the past administration.
“I understand that additional structures were erected on existing floors not minding the negative impact and structural defect such would have on the building.
“The consequence of that indiscretion is this avoidable tragedy of collapsed block of shops. We, however, thank God that there is no loss of life or injury to anyone,” Dr. Otti said.
The Governor said he had dispatched the Commissioner for Information, Prince Okey Kanu and the Senior Special Assistant on Aba Rejuvenation, Mr. Uche Ukeje, for an on-the-spot assessment of the incident.
Meanwhile, Dr. Otti has ordered that an integrity test be conducted on all the other shops in the market to guard against a repeat of such occurrence.