Many feared dead as warehouse collapses in Niger

Some persons have reportedly died following a warehouse collapsed in the Sabon Gari area of Minna, the Niger State capital.

While eyewitnesses say some of the people trapped in the building had died, the Niger State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA) said there were no recorded deaths.

It was gathered that two trailer loads of soft drinks were being offloaded with over 50 people inside the warehouse located at Kasuwan Gwari Market when the building collapsed.

An eyewitness who was at the scene of the incident, Aliyu Umaru said that immediately the building collapsed, concerned Nigerians rallied around the building to help to rescue the injured and trapped.

“Many people were trapped in the building. Some were pulled out dead while some seriously injured ones were rushed to hospital.

“Their condition was critical. One particular victim was panting for his life as he was being carried to the hospital. I doubt if he will survive,” he said.

Umaru disclosed that the building was a residential building which the owner, a Kano State indigene converted into a warehouse without effecting any amendments to suit a warehouse.

Director general of NSEMA Abdullahi Baba-Arah who confirmed the incident in a statement on Friday night, said the building would be demolished.

Baba-Arah also said no approval was received for the conversion of the building from a residential property to a warehouse.

“NSEMA received a distress call at 3:15 pm. of a building collapse at Sabon Gari area of Minna. The agency quickly alerted responding agencies for search and rescue operations.

“The search and rescue operations were conducted under the leadership of NSEMA, NEMA, State Urban Development Board, and State Environmental Protection Agency in conjunction with the Federal Fire service, The police, NSCDC, NDLEA, The Redcross, Vigilant groups and some volunteers.

“As at the time of filing this report, no life was lost, 5 people were rescued with various degrees of injuries, while 2 people escaped unhurt. An excavator was brought in to help in clearing the debris for possible entrapment, NEMA also brought life-dictating gadgets, but after intensive searching for about 3 hours, no one was trapped,” Baba-Arah said.

NSEMA disclosed that its findings showed that after the search and rescue operations, it was discovered that the story building was initially for residential purposes and later converted to a warehouse.

“The owner has no approval for a change of purpose, and it was also poorly constructed with substandard materials. The warehouse was full to the brim with soft drinks from about 25 trucks, which overpowered the structure that led to its collapse”.

The article was originally published on Politics Nigeria.

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