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General News of Thursday, 22 October 2020

Source: 3 News

Collapsed church building: Assembly was unaware of structural defects – DCE

The District Chief Executive Officer (DCE) of Asene Manso Akroso in the Eastern Region Alex Inkoom says 13 people could still be trapped under the rubble of the church building which collapsed at Akyem Bataabi Tuesday, October 20.

According to him, eight people were rescued deep into the night on Wednesday whiles death toll stood at 14.

Giving further accounts of the situation Mr Inkoom said earlier reports that the congregants were in that church building when it collapsed were wrong.

He said one church member who survived gave vivid accounts of what happened.

“He said at the time the incident happened they were having fasting and prayers at a nearby place behind the church. They went on break later but some of them went into the building to rest on their beds. According to the gentleman, out of the 53 people, 40 of them were on the ground floor so Tentatively, what we are anticipating is that 13 people could be burrier under the rubbles” Mr Inkoom told host of the Sunrise Morning Show on 3FM Alfred Ocansey on Thursday October 22.

According to the DCE, 2 sniffer dogs have been deployed to the site whiles officials from the Ghana Immigration Service, Ghana Ambulance Service and the police are helping in the rescue efforts. Furthermore six tracks and one excavator are also on site. The National security is bringing additional excavators.

He also revealed that the assembly didn’t know about the structural defect of the building explaining further that it was 4-storey with ground floor making five.

“We did not receive any report about the structural defects from the municipal engineers. Myself anytime I passed by I looked at it and always asked myself ‘this man when is he going to complete this building?’,”

On whether the owner had permit to build “I presumed that a structure like this there should be a permit and I expected that those engineers should have done their work. My information is that the previous assembly made certain inroads and if there is any official document we would go into it. If the building had been there for 24 years the pastor or osofo could have reached that stage all the proper works and checks should have been done.”

“I have not failed in my work as DCE in the collapsed of the church Building. The owner of the building wrote his statement and released on bail. He’s not well so the Regional Commander advised that he leaves. If we finished rescuing all we would begin investigation into the matter and then after that if anyone is culpable we would surcharge them” He told Alfred

He also noted “It is now a national security issue so we are sure there is going to be a comprehensive commission to investigate the matter and proper recommendation given and those who should be prosecuted would be done. We are going to do a lot of visitation to sensitize our people”.

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