Update: 3 dead, 22 rescued in collapsed building at Cantonments

Three people have been confirmed dead with about 22 persons rescued in a four-storey building that collapsed Saturday noon at Cantonments, a suburb of Accra.

The occupants, who were working on the facility under construction, were trapped when it collapsed around 1:30pm.

The owner of the building is believed to be among those confirmed dead.

The rescued persons include a young lady who had reported at the site to present monies to the casual workers.

The National Coordinator of the National Disaster Management Organization, Major Vib Sanziri, told TV3’s Komla Klutse that those rescued so far are gaining stability at the hospital.

He however noted that it is unclear how many people were in the building before the collapse.

Major Sanziri admitted NADMO was a bit constraint with logistics but would do their best to do a thorough search.

“If we had sniffer dogs and GPS equipment it would have aided us in making the search much more effective”

He says the search operation would continue to the lower compartments of the structure.

Personnel from the fire service, NADMO and the police are working to rescue all the trapped workers.

A worker rescued                                                                                                   

Engineering firm, Engineers & Planners is helping with rescue effort with excavators.

A casual worker who survived the collapse  told TV3 they detected a cracked pillar and informed the owner of the facility. He believes the pillar may have given in to the weight of the structure.

The young casual worker

“There were about twelve people working in there. The director told us to finish on time because by October the work should be done. Just around that time the building collapsed. The laborers were twelve, but for the electricians and the plumbers I don’t know. There were some working on glasses and the director himself too in there. As for me I quickly run away” he narrated.

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Building Safety concerns

There have been heightened concerns about the safety of buildings particularly high-rise ones since the collapsed Melcom five-storey building at Achimota, killed dozens and injured many in 2012.

Metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies have often been blamed for shirking their supervisory roles while contractors have also been accused of carrying out shoddy works.

In situations such as these however, there is clearly a lack of political will to prosecute people for negligence.

In the Meclom case for instance, not much was heard about the outcome of investigations into the disaster.