Scores of students, traders and shop owners in and around a sinking commercial building near the Asafo Market in Kumasi have been evacuated Wednesday morning.
Eyewitnesses say the building owned by one Daniel Fiifi and constructed five years ago started sinking Tuesday night and immediately prompted officials of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO).
When 3News got to the scene Wednesday morning, the three-storey building had tilted to the back towards one side. Parts of the wall had also developed serious cracks, our correspondent Benjamin Aidoo reported.
Officials of NADMO and the Police who were also at the scene moved into the building quickly to evacuate traders and shop owners who despite the apparent disaster, entered to remove their wares.
Other shops which were close-by as well as the Queen Elizabeth Preparatory School opposite the sinking building were also evacuated. The students of the school have been taken to the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly and announcement made for parents to come for their wards, our correspondent added.
The main roads from the Asafo Interchange to Kejetia and Fante New Town to Kejetia which pass in front of the building have been closed to traffic.
Engineers say the building is on the course of the Subin River, and that is evident by the surroundings which is marshy in nature.
The top floor of the building is being used as a conference centre while the two other floors house 12 shops.
Meanwhile, NADMO in conjunction with the KMA are working to get the building demolished by close of Wednesday.
“Within an hour the building must come down,” Ashanti Regional NADMO Coordinator, Kwabena Senkyire, told our correspondent.
He said they were waiting for the contractor working on the Kejetia project to bring heavy equipment machinery to begin the demolition of the building which is said to be owned by on Daniel Fiifi.
Chief Executive of KMA, Osei Assibey Antwi told our correspondent that after the building is demolished, engineers of the assembly will begin what he termed “structural integrity” checks of all buildings in the area to ensure they are safe for occupancy.