Rivers seals collapsed building, begins probe

The Rivers State Government has ordered the sealing of a two-storey building that collapsed on Okporo Road near Rumuodara in the Obio Akpor Local Government Area of the state.

The state Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Isaac Umejuru, gave the order during a visit to the site on Friday.

Recall that a two-storey building caved in at Rumuodara Obio/Akpor LG, injuring three persons including a two-year-old child.

Umejuru, while speaking with newsmen in Port Harcourt, the state capital, after the inspection, said the collapsed building was constructed without the necessary approval.

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He also said the engineer would be held responsible for overseeing the project which injured three persons.

The commissioner explained that the collapse was caused by the addition of a second floor on top of an existing structure, which ultimately led to the collapse.

He said, “It is an old building that they now put another building on top of, and the second one coming up led to the collapse, but luckily the three people the building collapsed on were saved, and a two-year-old child was there also, but they have been rushed to a private hospital somewhere around Rumudara, and they are taking treatments.”

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The commissioner revealed that an investigation has been initiated by the ministry into the collapse.

He added, “We have launched a discrete investigation into the immediate cause and causes of this collapse.

“However, visually, we can see that the building is an old building and someone is attempting to cut corners by adding another floor to it, but the ministry will investigate to find the cause kf the collapse.”

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He cautioned property owners about the risks of constructing buildings without approval.

Umejuru emphasised that the ministry has a team of experienced building experts in place to review and approve building plans, noting that those who proceed with construction without proper approval will face sanctions.

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