Residents of Uzama Street, Off Oliha Quartres, in Egor Local Government of Edo State, were on Friday thrown into mourning when a section of a building located on the street collapsed, killing no fewer than three persons.
Our correspondent gathered that the building, operated by a popular
pentecostal church in Benin, caved in when some youths in the area,
hired by the management of the church, were carrying out a demolition
exercise in order to create more space in the church compound.
One of the hired youths, who survived the incident disclosed that the
owner of the building hired him for N3,000 per day. He told The PUNCH
under condition of anonymity that, although nine of them were hired by
the owner of the building, five of his colleagues were breaking the
pillars of the building before tragedy struck.
He said that other survivors were taken to an undisclosed hospital in critical condition.
He explained that the building, which collapsed at about 1pm, housed
some officials of the church, who fled as soon as the incident occurred
for fear of being lynched by angry youths in the area.
“The owner of Christ Chosen Church Deliverance Centre told us to
demolish the building because they wanted more space in the compound.
But some of us went out to eat because we were hungry.
“As we were eating, many people rushed to where we were coming from.
We thought it was a fire outbreak. But when we got there, we discovered
that the building has collapsed.
“We were nine in number but four of my colleagues were in the
building before it collapsed. Two were brought out alive with injuries.
One died and two others are still inside.
“We have already demolished the upper part of the building and wanted
to break the pillars of the lower parts, so that the building would
fall. It was when one of us started work that the building fell,” he
A teenager, Osazu, suspected to be a relative to one of the victims
who was said to have been brought out of the debris dead told our
correspondent that he was alerted that the building where his brother,
Orosa, aged 26, was working had collapsed.
“It was when I came back to rest after work that my brother came to
tell me that the building where my brother went to collapsed. I don’t
know if he is still alive because people are just telling me what
happened,” he said.
Another resident attributed the collapse to greed on the part of the owner.
“How much is a crane to demolish the building? When I was passing, I
wondered why a big church like this cannot hire a crane for N65,000 per
day to do a neat job.
Some crowd of angry youths in the area were seen destroying the
church auditorium, while a vehicle operated by the church was set
However, the Edo State Commissioner of Police, Folusho Adebanjo, who
visited the scene of the collapsed and confirmed the incident, told The
PUNCH that one, out of the five persons working in the building died.
“One is unfortunately dead. There are rumours that we still have like two people there.
“Of course, there is absolute calm there now.
Some policemen were also seen trying to prevent a breakdown of law and order.