…manager on the run
About 60 Guests who lodged at the Metro-View Hotel in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, have been evacuated. The evacuation was as a result of the collapsed Hotel which is located at 2, UNDP Road, along Presco Campus, Abakaliki on Wednesday evening, 17th of July, 2019. The Special Assistant to Ebonyi State Governor on Capital City Projects, Chief Ejem Okoro who visited the scene, blamed the collapse on the manager and other employees of the hotel, saying that they were aware that the building was faulty and they still lodged people there. He went ahead to condemned such act and also noted that even as the incident happened, the manager was nowhere to be found. Chief Okoro said thus:
“look at this rod, they had the inclination that this place was pulling and collapsing and they could not have the humanity to save people from lodging here. Only God saved Ebonyi people, up to 60 people lodged here and they are safely out. We waited for so long to see the manager to find out certain things about the plan, but the manager made himself unavailable and he is nowhere to be found.”
The SA accessed the building and noted that the part which collapsed had no initial plan with the main one. He further advised people not to build without plans, but visit the board in charge to take the correct order of building for safety purposes.
“We have accessed this building and noticed that one side of it which looks like an attachment to the main building, has pulled from the main building and collapsed entirely. Looking at this building, you will know that this building never had any plan. I don’t think there was any authorization to do this part of the building. I am very sure that the Capital City Board has no idea of the existence of this wing of the building. So this building is simply a miniature-of-something-like building, no re-inforcement and nothing happens here.” so, we are advising that if people want to build, they should come to the Government through the Capital Territory Board, we have Engineers there, we have Town Planners and Architects, Builders who will assist you to build and you will build according to specifications and directives and as you are building, you take order because we have step by step approval on how to build. We also supervise buildings and if we don’t supervise yours, you are building on your own and if anything happens, we will hold you responsible.”
In an interview with Newsmen, Chief Ejem said that the State Government has sealed the hotel till further investigations are reached. Meanwhile, the evacuated guests were taken to other Hotels in the state and that no causality was recorded. According to him:
“Government has sealed Metro-view Hotel till further notice. Right now, we have to seal it and make a physical assessment of what happened. We wouldn’t want to injure or offend any person, the Government want to do the right thing. After the whole assessment, we will then come up with Engineers and the result. We value lives and we wouldn’t want to lose any life here.”
Mr. Austin Orji, who is the Director of the Metro-view hotel was absent for some days but was updated on his return and that was two days before the collapse. He also gave an analysis of the affected rooms.
“I travelled for some days and when I came back two days ago, the manager showed me the crack in one of the pillars and we took action immediately to condone the building and evacuated all our guests, then tried to see if we can salvage the building and in doing that, we brought two Engineers yesterday to see what they can do about it.”
“We have 26 rooms and about 10 rooms were affected. No causality or lives lost because we noticed the crack and evacuated everybody before the collapse.”
In the same vein, the Chairman of Prevention Investigation Failure Analysis Committee(PIFAC), Engr. Raphael Igwe Oko made known the observations on the building, he said on behalf of the committee that the materials involved will be subjected to test and with results or findings, they can classify the collapse.
“Our work is like that of the medical Doctors, you don’t just say because somebody has headache, you give him paracetamol. We must identify whether the materials fall short of the standard or suspect that, we will also get the manpower use before we can do anything.”
By Udo Akam-Alo
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