Tragedy struck in Benin, the Edo State capital, over the weekend when a section of a three-storey building under construction suddenly collapsed, allegedly killing two persons and leaving three others severely wounded.
The building, located opposite the NNPC Mega filling station on Sapele Road, was said to have collapsed when the weather was bright and sunny and devoid of the wetness from downpour that often flood the capital city on daily basis since the rainy season began.
According to reports, the victims were pouring concrete on a cantilever projection on the third floor when the form-work apparently caved in, owing to alleged poor and substandard work.
Reports have it that both the survivors and the dead were hired by a contractor to do the two-day job at N3, 000 per day for each worker.
One of the deceased who was simply identified as Mike, sustained a deep cut in the chest, when he and his colleagues fell from the third floor to the ground, where they were allegedly smashed by concrete slabs.
He was said to have been rushed to the Central Hospital in Benin and he was confirmed dead there.
An eyewitness said the other victim allegedly gave up the ghost in hospital. Effort to confirm his identity was, however, not successful as at the time of filing this report.
For one of the workers, Sunday Oniuvusa, a graduate of Mechanical Engineering from the University of Benin who sustained injury, he described himself as lucky to have survived the building collapse.
“Some of the blocks that fell prevented the planks on the ground from harming us; I was lucky. But in the boy’s case, there was nothing to protect him so one of the planks pierced his chest,” Oniuvusa said.
The supervisor of the project, Mr. Morris Omoregie, in an interaction with Sunday Mirror at the hospital, blamed the collapse incident on a different contractor, noting that the remains of the deceased had been deposited in a mortuary, while those injured were still receiving treatment.
He said, “I am directly involved because I lost someone. I called them to place the concrete and their form-work collapsed. The form-work was supposed to hold everything until 21 days. They are my persons.
“I am the one handling their medical bills so far,” the supervisor added.