Two persons on Friday narrowly escaped death by the whiskers as a two-storey building under construction collapsed in Marine quarters, Warri, Delta State.
The building which was few metres away from the Secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Warri Correspondents Chapel, crumbled at about 1:10pm, according to an eyewitness.
Olusegun Awodiyi, Chairman, Marine Quarters, who spoke on behalf of the residents, said they had warned the owner of the building that the foundation was not strong enough to carry a 2-storey building.
According to Awoniyi who claimed that the building materials used were substandard, the owner of the building whose name was not given, rebuffed them and said he was a certified engineer.
He said: “The workers have not been around for some days, so we thank God that no life was lost.
“The Delta Government should come and take a critical look at another house belonging to the same owner of the collapsed building to avoid another one collapsing and possibly leading to death.”
Samuel Owoputi, who owns a building beside the ill-fated structure, said two of his children who were sleeping in his room narrowly escaped death as the incident also affected the room.
According to him, the collapsed building had been giving sign since Wednesday.
Owoputi said, “One of my sons was sleeping in the room when it all happened. As people were shouting my daughter ran into the house to wake him up. Immediately he got up from the bed the debris from the building fell directly on the bed. Two of them would have been dead by now.”
He said he suspected that the building was going to collapse because the materials used for the construction of the building were substandard.
He further said that he came back home only to find out that part of his house had been destroyed by the debris from the collapsed building adjacent his house.
Owoputi added that he had earlier told his children not to be sleeping in the room close to the collapsed building because he suspected that it was cracking little by little.
“When I was leaving the house this morning I told my children not to sleep in the room because I suspected that the building will collapse but they did not listen to me.
“I was at work when they called me that the building has collapsed and that it affected my house. When I got home I discovered that part of my house was destroyed by debris from the collapse building,” he added.
Divine Iniovosa, the Vice Chairman of the local government area who visited the scene, said the owner of the building would be invited to the council secretariat for questioning.
Iniovosa claimed that from all indications, the materials used for the building were substandard, adding that it was built without the service of a qualified engineer.
She said: “We thank God that no life was lost. From what I am seeing, it shows that the materials used were poor and the owner did not engage a qualified engineer to do the job.
“As a council, we are going to invite the owner to come and tell us what happened; but for now, I will report to the council chairman what I have seen.
“My people from the Town Planning Departments have drawn our attention to this building and they told the man to stop the building. I am not surprised that this has happened.
“The owner of this house probably did not want to live in it, otherwise, he would not use these poor materials to build this house.”
Iniovosa advised prospective builders to engage the services of qualified engineers and also use standard materials for their buildings.
She added: “People should engage the services of engineers before starting their building. They should also use quality building materials so that their house will stand the test of time.”