About seven persons were feared killed following the collapse of a three-storey hostel at Nwagu village near the Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra State, on Sunday night.
It was learnt that the affected persons were mostly masons who were temporarily residing at the ground floor of the building.
The polytechnic’s public relations officer, Mr. Obinna Onuchukwu, said the building which was still under construction is located at the village adjacent to school.
Onuchukwu further stated that the hostel which belonged to a private estate developer would have been rented by students upon completion.
He said: “There is no record of collapsed structure in the polytechnic. That shows that this one isn’t ours. Our Rector, Prof. Godwin Onu, has visited the scene and immediately ordered the evacuation of students residing within the axis of the collapsed building.”
Rescue workers from the National Emergency Management Agency, State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC and the Police were at the scene as at 4.30 pm on Monday, May 23, 2016 evacuating the debris with heavy duty equipment in search of trapped persons.
Governor Willie Obiano, of the state who visited the scene for an on-the-spot assessment, stated that the contractor and owner of the collapsed building will be prosecuted.
He assured that a panel would be set up to probe the incident, adding that the state already had an agency that would test the materials used for the construction of the building.
Obiano sympathised with the students whose hostels had been shut following the incident, and assured that their safety was a top priority of his administration.
He said: “The safety of students and every resident remain a major concern to my government, hence we will not hesitate to pull down these structures, if they fail the structural resistance test.”