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23.10.2013 Tragedy

Collapsed Building Kills One …Leaves Three In Critical Condition

By Ghanaian Chronicle
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A COLLAPSED structure at Adum, a suburb of Kumasi, has killed one and left three other persons in critical conditions, in what residents believe was an avoidable disaster.

The deceased, identified as Kojo Martin, a welder at Asokwa, reportedly met his untimely death when he and three other persons were working inside the building on Tuesday morning.

The victims involved in the incident include two other colleague welders and the owner of the collapsed building, located on the Harper Road near the premises of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA).

They were said to have been contracted by the owner of the defunct structure, which was razed down by fire in April this year, to remove metal scraps and other valuable items used for building trailers.

The incident, according to information, occurred early yesterday morning, when the deceased and his colleagues were busily cutting through the structures to remove the heavy metals under the supervision of the owner, named only as Alhaji when part of the building caved in.

Residents living around however managed to rescue three of them, who were in critical condition and were subsequently rushed to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH).

However, it was hours after they regained consciousness that they informed rescuers that they were four and that one of them was still trapped inside the building.

Unlucky, however, for the deceased, by the time personnel of the Ghana

Fire Service arrived at the scene to retrieve the body, Martin was already dead.

His body has since been deposited at the Komfo Anokye hospital morgue.

The said structure commonly called 1910 because it was constructed in 1910 has become a death trap, after it was gutted by fire early this year.

City authorities have however turned blind eye to it, despite persistent calls by some media personnel in the metropolis for the structure to be pulled down.

The Metro Coordinator of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) Mad. Vivian Akomeah, was on record (TV Africa News) to have said that the building did not pose any danger based on assessment by engineers from the KMA.

When The Chronicle contacted Mrs. Akomeah for her comments, she confirmed telling TV Africa in an informal conversation about the building but explained that her comment was based on enquiries made from the Engineering Department of the KMA.

According to her, the engineering assessment was based on the premise that the building was safe for now so long as nobody occupied it or worked on it. She said, however, that the assurance did not include working on the building.

“Yes it is true I spoke to the engineers at KMA and they told me the structure posed no threats so long as no one touches; it is, however, unfortunate that these people decided to put their lives in danger,” Mrs. Akomeah observed.

On the question of pulling down the structure, Mrs. Akomeah explained that the issue was not as simple as it seems because there are legalities that must be considered before such action could be taken.

“We are still talking to the KMA and owners of the building, but we can't prevent anyone from going there because it is not a public property,” she noted.

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