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Monday, April 15, 2024

10 feared dread so far as Soludo  visits Onitsha market building collapse scene

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By Chuks Eke
Governor Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State yesterday visited the scene of Ochanje market building site in the commercial city of Onitsha where an uncompleted three storey  building collapsed on Monday night and killed about 10 persons so far
While at the scene, the governor promised that he wiould ensure that the victims of the collapse buikding receive justice.
The three-storey building still under construction, which was meant to serve as a plaza at Ochanja market on completion, collapsed at about 8pm on Monday while some of the workers and traders were still at work inside the building, became victims in the rubbles.
Although the State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA gave the casualty figure as six so far, while  Governor Soludo gave his own figure as five in the disaster and 20 others rescued with various levels of injuries and are currently receiving treatment at a nearby hospital around the market, eye witnesses said that the casualty figure was up to 10. thanks
Soludo who was visibly angry at the scene said he was not aware that the building was going on at the market.
He said, “When investigations are completed, the developer, the Chairman of the market and every other person involved in the disaster will be prosecuted and jailed.
“The remaining building under construction by the same developer, near the collapsed one will be demolished immediately after rescue operations on the site had been completed.”
Soludo also instructed that any development in any market in Anambra State without his express approval will be demolished while vowing that every other existing building mustt pass through integrity test.
Also, the Commissioner for Special Duties, Beverly Ikpeazu-Nkemdiche also mourned the victims of the collapse and assured the families that the state government will make sure that no one that was culpable in the disaster will go unpunished.
The governor was joined in the visit by top government officials, where he ordered more excavators will be brought on the site of the collapse to help in the rescue operations.
As at the time of filing this report, rescue operations were still ongoing to search for more trapped victims in the rubbles.
Chairman of Ochanja Central Market, Chief Bonaventure Mmuo who spoke to neesmen in his office, said they decided to close the entire market for today to mourn the victims.
Mmuo recalled that the scene was once known as Odu Igbo portion of Ochanja market before some government officials brought an approval letter and started building the plaza under Public Private Partnership, PPP.
He commiserated with the victims’ family and urged them to bear the loss with fortitude.

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