From Fred Itua and Molly Kilete, Abuja 

Two people were confirmed dead after the collapse of a two-storey commercial complex under construction, in Gwarinpa District of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, yesterday afternoon. Over 50 others were trapped in the rubbles. 

Confirming the incident, Director Development Control, Federal Capital Territory Administration ( FCTA), Muktar Galadima, said rescue operation was ongoing with a combined team of several agencies, and that about seven people had been rescued and taken to hospital.

The coordinator, Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), Umar Shuaibu, said while the council won’t appropriate blame to anybody,  investigations would commence immediately to ascertain both the remote and immediate causes of the collapse. 

A witness, John Edwin, said the workers on site, especially labourers conveying blocks to the top, were over 40. He claimed to have lived in the area for many years, and that he had always known the place to be a reserved Green area. He urged relevant authorities to call the management of the Federal Housing Authority to question, for illegally allocating green areas to commercial complexes.

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Meanwhile, the FCT Police Command said it has mobilised the services of other security agencies to evacuate workers trapped in the collapsed building. 

The Commissioner of Police, Sadiq Abubakar, who made the disclosure yesterday, when he visited the scene of the incident, said the police would provide the necessary support to ensure the ease of the rescue operations and ensure hoodlums do not take advantage of the situation. 

Abubakar equally pledged the support of the command to aid the functions of building regulatory and investigative body within the FCT, carry out its investigation on the collapsed building.

The commissioner, who described the situation as unfortunate, called on the residents of the area to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious movement to the police, just as he prayed that the victims, especially those reportedly trapped under the rubble, would be rescued alive and stabilised accordingly.