One Dead, Two Injured As Building Collapses At Wa

Dead bodyOne person died, and two others sustained injuries when portions of a one storey building they were working on, collapsed on them yesterday.

The deceased, Sheriff Inusah, was among a group of carpenters and masons working on a proposed office complex for the Wa branch of the GN Bank.

The two others, are said to be in critical conditions at the Upper West Regional Hospital.

An eye-witness, Dawud Kunateh, who narrated the incident to The Ghanaian Times said, he was at his shop at about 10:30am on Monday when he heard a big bang from the construction site adjacent to his shop.

He said he quickly rushed to the scene together with others around, only to realise that the parapet wall and grove gutter had collapsed, and two of the workers including the deceased had been trapped under the rubble.

Mr. Kunateh said they managed to pull them out and rushed them to the hospital, where Sheriff who sustained serious injuries was pronounced dead.

Meanwhile, the body has been deposited at the regional hospital morgue.

According to Mr. Kunateh the incident was a sad one, as many had expressed their reservation over the shoddy work at the site, and had even reported the issue to the Works Department of the municipal authorities.

He said but for the fewer number of workers on the site that day, the casualties would have been more.

Mr. Kunateh, therefore, appealed to the city authorities to move in and demolish the structure, and ensure that the owner of the building complied with the necessary safety regulations in the country.

When contacted, Mr. Osman Abdallah , Chief Engineer in-charge of the Building Inspectorate of the Wa Municipal Assembly, confirmed that the building belongs to Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, the 2012 Presidential candidate of the Progressive Peoples Party (PPP).

He said about three months ago, it came to their notice that the building was under construction without a permit, so his outfit moved in to stop the contractor from working.

Mr. Abdallah said subsequently the contractor, Yorke Properties, applied for permit.

He said he was surprised that work had continued at the site since the ,assembly was yet to issue a permit to allow them to continue with the building.

“The assembly will take the issue up and investigate it in order to ascertain exactly what happened, and if the contractor is found culpable, he would be handed over to the appropriate authorities to deal with him,” he said.

An engineer with the AESL, who spoke on condition of anonymity said the materials for the construction work was sub-standard, adding that it was unfortunate that people would still not learn their lessons, and engage the right people to construct their buildings.

The engineer said the time had come for city authorities to enforce the laws and also punish such individuals and groups, to serve as a deterrent to others.

“We must allow professionals to undertake such construction work, in order to avoid such senseless murder and bloodshed of innocent people in our country,” he said.

The police are investigating the incident.

From Cliff Ekuful, Wa

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