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20 escape death as 5-storey building collapses in Onitsha

No fewer than 20 persons escaped death by the whiskers when a five-storey building and a neighbouring building in Nkpor collapsed on Wednesday afternoon. The construction of the building, which was located at the No. 27 Olukwu Street towards the slope of Akuzo Nkpor, began more than 10 years ago with many signs that the building would collapse.

According to one of the tenants who spoke to Daily Sun on condition of anonymity, the building started showing signs of collapse as a result of the heavy rain which he said had caused the walls of the building to cave in. He said the walls of the building began to crack about two weeks ago, which, he said, made some of the tenants to start packing their property away from the collapsed building.
Also speaking, one of the tenants who simply identified herself as ‘Mama Chichi’ said she ran away from the building few hours before it collapsed. The caretaker had notified the landlord, who was said to live abroad, on the need to carry out repairs on the building.

She said “the owner advised the tenants to vacate the building so he could carry out some repairs. Three of the six families who lived on the ground floor of the building took the warning seriously and made frantic efforts for alternative accommodation and packed out.“The owner expressed fear that the building might collapse soon and was also worried that should it collapse on tenants, people will accuse him of making blood money, hence he insited that we should pack out of the building,” she said.

Mr. Ugwuota lamented that he had already got alternative accommodation and had paid for the lorry that would convey their property to their next house before the unfortunate incident, adding that their property were trapped in the rubbles. Daily Sun, however, gathered that the roofing of the building was completed barely one week ago, which many people said was the major cause of the collapse of the building as the house remained unroofed for about 10 years.

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