Three feared dead as building collapses in Busia
10 October 2015, 17:25
Busia - Three people are feared dead after a four-story building that was still under construction collapsed in Busia Town Friday night.
Residents said two construction workers who usually sleep inside the building and a watchman could have been trapped in the rubble of the collapsed building.
However, Teso South OCPD Paul Odede said the watchman who was guarding the building is trapped in the rubble, adding that there were allegation of two other people who were also in the building.
He added that excavators from the County Government of Busia are continuing with the rescue operations to ascertain the number of people who could have been in the building when the tragedy occurred.
"We cannot account for the three construction workers who could be trapped in the building. The telephone number of the watchman is ringing without any answer," residents who gathered outside the collapsed building said.
A construction expert, Daniel Lubaha faulted the County government for the tragedy, saying that poor construction methods and absence of County engineer to supervise the building was to blame.
“Corruption in the construction industry in Busia County is to blame coupled with poor disaster management techniques. We call upon the national government to intervene in order to avoid such disasters in future,” Lubaha said.
He added that the building was already surging.
However, residents blamed the incident on the contractor who did a shoddy job and wondered whether engineers certified the construction works or not.
"The upper floors were being built in quick succession, putting pressure on the lower floors," a resident said.
The department of Public Works, Transport and Disaster Management exonerated itself from the tragedy saying they have no role in supervising construction of buildings.
The CEC in the department, Gregory Odeke said the National Construction Authority and the department of Lands were directly involved in ensuring contractors abide by the rules governing constructions.
By the time of going to press, the rescue mission was still ongoing as the bodies trapped in the rubble had not been retrieved.
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