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Five dead, 26 rescued in Onitsha market building collapse


Five dead, 26 rescued in Onitsha market building collapse

In a tragic incident at the Oduigbo section of Ochanja Market in Onitsha South Local Government Area, five individuals lost their lives due to the collapse of three buildings under construction.

The mishap occurred on Monday evening, leading to a rescue operation that has, so far, saved 26 individuals.

Governor Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State visited the scene to assess the situation and express his condolences to the victims.

In a statement, he emphasized the importance of adhering to proper building procedures, stating, “I had instructed that no shop should be erected in any market in the state without the approval of the Physical Planning Board, and my signature.”

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Soludo, visibly moved, promised support to those affected by the disaster and highlighted the need to address impunity in construction practices. He urged developers to obtain approved plans before initiating building projects.

The governor outlined consequences for the contractor responsible for the collapse, stating, “After the search and rescue efforts, the contractor will be made to remove all the rubble at his own cost, in addition to facing the full wrath of the law.”

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He also pledged to work with relevant authorities to prevent such incidents in the future.

Efforts are underway to rescue individuals still trapped beneath the debris, with emergency responders working tirelessly to extract survivors and recover remains.

Some survivors have been transported to nearby hospitals for urgent medical attention.

The incident has sparked public outrage, prompting calls for an investigation into the structural integrity of buildings in the city. Residents are advocating for stricter safety regulations to prevent future tragedies. Soludo acknowledged these concerns and assured the public that a committee would be established to thoroughly investigate the incident.

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He called for calm and solidarity with ongoing rescue efforts, commending the bravery of emergency responders.

The governor praised their dedication and encouraged them to persist in their vital work.