Two (2) dead and 3 are in critical condition following the collapse of storey building at Amanfrom Assemblies, a suburb of Amanfrom in the Ga South Municipality on Tuesday, July 4, 2023.
The owner of the building was said to have died instantly and one other on Wednesday morning.
2 dead and 3 injured
The incident, which occurred around 2pm, collapsed on five persons including the owner of the building and her two employees of the Restoration Healthcare and Birth Centre and two children aged five years each.
When newsmen visited the scene, an eyewitness narrated that the earth shook momentarily and passers-by managed to escape, however, the victims seated beneath the building got trapped resulting in 2 dead and 3 in critical condition.
The other three who were seriously injured were initially rushed to the Kasoa Polyclinic but had been transferred to the Winneba Trauma and Specialist Hospital for treatment.
Municipal Fire Commander D03, Marcel Kwame Avedo, who spoke to the media said the scene lacked access roads and that his team and the ambulance service had difficulty rescuing the victims.
Preliminary investigations indicated that the building was situated in a waterlogged area.
He advised land developers to avoid indiscriminate building of structures in communities to ensure places earmarked for road construction were reserved.
Four multi-storey buildings in different parts of the country collapsed recently.
Within a space of two weeks in May this year, four separate cases of collapse of storey buildings under construction were recorded.
Three occurred in Adenta, Nanakrom and Old Bortianor in the Greater Accra Region and one in Sangnarigu in the Northern Region.
Subsequently, four separate teams of investigators drawn from the Ghana Institute of Architects, Ghana Institute of Planners, Ghana Institution of Engineering, and the Ghana Institution of Surveyors were deployed to investigate the cause of the disaster.
Preliminary investigations by the Engineering Council cited poor supervision particularly on the part of Assemblies as a major contributory factor to the collapse of the buildings under construction.
The Engineering Council said preliminary investigations at the disaster sites had revealed that the owners of the buildings either did not obtain permits or extended the buildings beyond what was approved.
In the case of the Bortianor church building incident, the Council said preliminary investigations had showed that there were “a lot of flaws in the construction”.
A critical review of these buildings showed that almost all buildings that collapsed within this period were privately owned properties.
The collapse of buildings in the country in recent times has become very alarming, resulting in the killing of innocent people, infringing permanent disability on many and destroying properties.
It also comes at a huge cost to the state through the clearing of debris and rescue of survivors.
Collapse of buildings is the worst form of structural failure and building professionals see it as a building failure of a higher magnitude.
Every building can collapse but multi-storey structures are more prone to collapse of a higher magnitude.
Almost all structural failures could be attributed to man-made phenomena
structural failure include lack of soil type investigation, poor building design and planning, use of inferior or sub-standard building materials, weak supervision, use of incompetent contractors, and lack of enforcement of building standards and codes.
The Engineering Council of Ghana regulates the practice of engineering and provide for regulated matters to secure the highest professional standards in the practice of the engineering
Following the incidents in May, it has put together a team to conduct spot inspections at construction sites – but the team’s deployment had delayed due to the lack of resources
Mr Wise Ametefe, the Registrar of the Council, mentioned transport logistics, and allowances for the inspection team as among the major resources required to execute the nationwide inspection exercise.
He said the team would educate contractors where necessary and would also be empowered to halt any project that did not comply with engineering rules and had the potential to endanger lives.
He said the team will go to the sites unannounced and conduct spot checks and find out if the right materials are being used and the right things are being done.
It is important for government to provide adequate resources to the Council to effectively exercise its supervisory role and ensure compliance to the country’s building regulations.