No fewer than 40 people escaped death on Friday following the collapse of a section of a four-storey building at Zulu Gambari Road, Government Reservation Area in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.
It was gathered that three victims were injured and were evacuated to a nearby hospital for treatment.
Sources said that no fewer than 40 masons, helpers/labourers, plumbers and other artisans were on-site when a section of the building collapsed.
It was learnt that some debris from the failed structure fell on two containers near the construction site.
Our correspondent also learnt that some of the people were also holding a religious programme in one of the containers, but they managed to run out while the workers in the building either escaped or were rescued.
One of the victims, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “We were praying inside the container when the building suddenly collapsed. We rushed out from the container. A woman called Mummy Samad, who was inside the second container, has been taken to a hospital. Nobody died.”
The Secretary, Kwara State chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Building, Mr. Maruf Ahmed, described the incident as unfortunate.
Ahmed said, “We heard the bad news; a lot of things could be responsible for it. The structure had failed integrity test. It could be because poor materials were used or the technical team may not have the cognate experience to handle a structure like this. A lot of reasons could be adduced to this failure.
“I am not in a position to say that the building is no longer habitable or that it should be totally demolished. Professionally, it has failed integrity test.”
Efforts to get the response of the Chairman of the state’ chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners, Mr. Raheem Adeoti, were not successful.
The Public Relations Officer of the state’s police command, Mr. Ajayi Okansomi, and the state PRO, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Mr. Henry Bilesanmi, confirmed the incident, adding that no life was lost.
Okasanmi said the cause of the collapse had yet to be ascertained.
He, however, advised people to steer clear of the site as the other sections of the structure could also collapse.
He said, “We should endeavour to use standard materials if we are building. Until an expert reveals the cause of the collapse, one cannot say whether substandard products were used or not. I advise people to steer clear of the environment because it is possible for the remaining part of the building to also collapse.”
Bilesanmi said, “no fewer than 40 people were working at the site when the incident occurred.”
“We have to cordon off the place so that there will be no further casualty.”