At least 13 persons have escaped death following the collapse of a two-storey building under construction in Calabar, the Cross River state capital.
The tragic incident Sunday Vanguard learned occurred at Muri Nta Eke Street off Ikot Eyo on Saturday afternoon as workers were trying to complete the second decking of the building.
Confirming the incident to Sunday Vanguard, Cross River state Commissioner for information, Mr Eric Anderson said that 13 workers were at the site before the incident but only 10 were there when it occurred as three took a break.
According to him: ”The people originally working at the site were 13 but three of them took a break before the incident, so only 10 were on the ground when the building collapsed.
“We can account for the 10 persons but the security guard told us that a boy was seen at the site seconds before the collapse.
”So we are here with our equipment to make sure we get to the bottom of the rubble, it is obvious that the contractor who happens to be the owner of the structure was also the site engineer and building engineer and all.
”He is a known person, he owns a hotel (name withheld) at Nsemo Street in Calabar, I have contacted him severally but he has refused to take his calls.
”From what we have seen so far at the site of the incident it is obvious he used substandard materials for the project. The mixtures, the blocks, and the iron rod used were all substandard.
“I’m also aware that the Ministry of Urban Planning and Development had written to him four months ago to stop building but he has been evasive, with this his details will definitely be made available to security agencies for due process.
“We are trying to get to the bottom of the rubble to make sure the boy is found, until then we will remain at site, we are also using this opportunity to let other illegal builders know that it’s no longer business as usual.
“We know it takes a rigorous process to get demolition approvals but we will take such stance to the next level and ensure that nothing like this ever happens again in Calabar and Cross River as a whole,” Mr Anderson said.