Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Four persons have been confirmed dead as a result of the collapse of hotel building under construction at the university town of Abraka, in Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State.
The incident happened following a rain storm in the morning hours of Saturday at Aghwana Avenue in the university community.
Local sources claim that five persons escaped unhurt as part of the 206-room hotel building caved in, with the four dead victims buried underneath the rubbles.
According to the sources, the victims are believed to be from the western part of the country, who served as ad hoc construction workers for the building of the collapsed structure.
The sources added that the victims died before they could be rescued from the rubble as rescue operations were delayed due the torrential rain in the area.
One of the sources said “the building was already at the roofing stage before the il-fated collapse. And those men or workers were sleeping inside. They wake up every morning to continue work. But nobody had seen them this morning before the collapse because of the rains. I suspect they might be sleeping when the building fell on them.”
As at the time of filing this report, rescue operations were said to be in progress, but officials of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) were yet to answer calls put to their phones.
Some SEMA officials along with officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) were to be on hand for the rescue operations as at the time of filing this report.
Though locals are attributing the immediate cause of the collapse to the downpour, expert opinion has yet to confirm whether the building under construction had been structurally defective.