The timely intervention of the Umuahia Capital Development Authority ensured that no live was lost when a three-storey building collapsed in the Abia State capital on Wednesday.
The structure, located at No. 90 Nkwerre Street, Umuahia, was reduced to rubble.
According to an occupant of the building, who is an employee of the Broadcasting Corporation of Abia, Mr Kanu Okorie, the tenants noticed in the morning that the door to the stair case had jammed following the rain of the previous day and it was later forced open.
It was gathered that the building came down around 6.50pm.
The Chairman, UCDA, Mr Enyinnaya Nwokenna, said following a distress call, he and his staff members rushed to the scene and saw the 16-year-old building in a precarious position and ordered the occupants to vacate it before it came down around 6.50pm.
He stated, “Had it not been for our timely intervention, more than 15 lives would have been lost in their attempt to salvage their belongings.
“If we had left before the building collapsed, there would have been disaster. It was a tussle between us and the tenants.”
Nwokenna attributed the collapse to faulty foundation not made for three-storey floors, nearness to the septic tank, rods not fit for three-storey floors as well as use of sand scooped from the gutter to construct the house.
He stated that there was no evidence that the structure was approved by the UCDA.
Speaking after inspecting the site of the collapsed building and the adjoining Voice of Freedom and Grace Tabernacle International Church, the state Commissioner for Lands, Mr Suleiman Ukandu, thanked God that no life was lost and said the government would set up a commission of enquiry to look into the cause(s) of the incident.