Abuja Building Collapse – 1 confirmed dead, several trapped

In our nations capital, Abuja, a four storey building collapsed last Friday, killing one person and trapping up to ten individuals. 6 people were rescued from the rubble and the search continued for a day to try and recover the remaining people, as reported by the Vanguard News.

The search and recovery efforts were called off by the Federal Capital Territory Development Authority on Sunday – which infuriated locals, who claimed that not enough was done to rescue the buried residents.

The structure had been abandoned for around 15 years, and just recently construction resumed on the property. As construction crews tried to add another level to the building, the structure buckled and then collapsed burying the workers within, according to onsite witnesses.

This tragedy highlights the problem with neglected and abandoned structures that are prevalent all over Nigeria.  Buildings directly exposed to the  elements that are not maintained properly can have disastrous and tragic results, as we have seen this last week.

Local officials need to enforce building codes, and contractors also should bear responsibility for doing their part to ensure safety of crews and local residents.  These types of events are totally preventable and there is no excuse for these problems to continue.

Roman Kingsley

Journalist based in the United States and Nigeria, focusing on Real Estate Development and the stories emerging in and around the built environment.

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