From Vincent Marie-Odozi in Benin
Unconfirmed number of people were trapped as a new hospital building under construction collapsed on Monday afternoon..
The cause of the collapse of the multi billion naira central hospital building could not be immediately ascertained but one of the workers in the construction site Hassan Jimoh who gave an eye witness account said the crane that was being used at the site was lifting some heavy objects when the iron rope cut into two. In the process the heavy object it was carrying fell one side of the uncompleted building forcing it to collapse and fell on some of the construction workers inside.
Although the exact number of people trapped inside the building could not be immediately ascertained some of the masons said three of their colleagues including the foreman a white man were still being trapped as their voices were heard calling for help.
Rescue operations made up of state fire service, civil defence, NEMA officials, Red Cross and Setraco equipments were used for rescue operation.
The situation almost became violent as workers tried to prevent journalists from taking pictures of the collapsed building. Some journalists were beaten up and their cameras seized. It however took the intervention of some policemen around before journalists were allowed to do their work.
As at the time of filing this report official government reaction was still being expected. The state deputy governor Dr Pius Odubu and some top government officials were at the site of the building to inspect the extent of the damage. The state governor Adams Oshiomhole who has travelled outside the state capital on a campaign tour was also still expected.