General News of Thursday, 8 November 2012

Source: Joy Online

I could have prevented Melcom disaster - Safety Coordinator

A safety Coordinator, Eric Twum Osei says he could have prevented the Melcom disaster, which has so far claimed five lives, from happening.

The six-storey Melcom shopping mall collapsed Wednesday morning, trapping an unknown number of people. Rescue efforts are still underway and over 70 people have been pulled out alive.

Mr Twum Osei who spoke on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Thursday, said he visited the mall days before the disaster occurred and realised the building was weak, having cracks in it. His claims were confirmed by some surviving staff of the mall who told Joy News they noticed cracks in some of the pillars three days earlier and reported to their supervisors.

The survivors, who accused their superiors of negligence, said they were told the pillars only needed plastering and nothing more.

Looking back, Mr Twum wishes he had done more than drawing the attention of authorities of the shopping centre. He feels going the extra mile could have averted the situation.

“I could have gone further; actually that’s exactly what I wanted to do. I wanted to see their safety coordinator because if they had got one and I had seen that guy I think things would have been moved in the right direction,” he stated.

The Safety Coordinator further explained that because he didn’t get anyone in authority to discuss that with, “…I had to draw back because the whole thing was being greeted by [hostility]”.

“…You know, this thing about Ghanaians, when you tell them about what is right they tell you …you have to mind your own business.”

“So I think I could have gone ahead to do something about it but unfortunately I didn’t meet the right people,” Mr Twum Osei observed.