Miracle galore at site of collapsed 7-story building in PH: Man pulled out after four days

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* Special crane for effective digging yet to arrive from Abuja

* Gov Wike says location cannot take 7-storey building

* Heads to roll at lands and urban departments

A man has been pulled out of the rumbles of the collapsed 7-storey building in the GRA area of Port Harcourt, four days after the disaster.

This confirms fears that many persons trapped in the rubbles are still alive, probably dieing slowly.

The miracle of rescue adds to that of a young man who has been telling his story of miraculous escape. He said he was pressed by blocks but that he prayed for nothing but the strength of Sampson in the Bible and that suddenly, strength came from nowhere. He said he heaved and the blocks fell off like the pillars in Philistine and he began pushing pillars and blocks away. He came out without a crane.

More miracles are expected going by the number of persons suspected to be still trapped beneath and the fire-some prayers being rendered in many prayer houses in the city and beyond by relations. A woman who sells plantain and fish, the special delicacy in the Garden City, and a woman that sells rice for launch are still trapped there with prayers from their pastors tearing into heaven.

It was gathered that the third floor is like a hall and there is like a leisure floor with over 20 persons playing the game of drought while waiting for weekly payment. Others talked about some five special machines manned by over 15 persons each. Many rest at the underground floor too.

Six persons have so far been confirmed dead, but about 37 have been rescued with varying degrees of injuries.

Many got their miracles even before the disaster struck. A young man said he just left the site to opposite the road to buy some items, only for a huge explosion to erupt. He was still calling his colleagues in there to know whether or not they made it out. Some of the calls were not going.

The governor, Nyesom Wike, who visited the site said heads will roll as any government official who is implicated will go. He also smells illegality already as he said the area by master plan cannot take a 7-storey building.

Rumours are rife in the city on the cause and ownership of the building.

WIKE ORDERS PROBE

Meanwhile, the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has directed the State Attorney-General to set up a Commission of Inquiry to ascertain the remote and immediate causes of the collapse of the Private 7-storey building at Woji Road, New GRA in Port Harcourt.

Governor Wike described the building collapse as a sad development, which he said has led to the painful loss of lives.

He said: “I feel so pained that we have to face this kind of calamity at this time. I commiserate with the families that have lost their loved ones who came to seek their daily bread.

“Government will do all it can to give them the necessary support.

“I have directed the Attorney-General of Rivers State to ensure that all legal steps are taken to do what is right within the ambit of the law “.

The governor ordered the immediate arrest of the owner of the collapsed building, saying that the State Government will bring all culprits to book.

“Whoever that approved this structure and those involved in the construction will face the law.  Government will take every necessary step to ensure that culprits are brought to justice.

“Whoever is involved, from the owner or the contractor or the officials of the state, they will face the full weight of the law “, he said.

Speaking when he led top government officials to visit the site of the collapsed 7-storey building on Sunday, Governor Wike noted that all officials of the Rivers State Government who defaulted in their duties will be sanctioned.

The governor was accompanied by his wife, Justice Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom-Wike and top government officials.

He said: “Government will take steps to acquire this property.  We cannot allow this illegality.  If you look at master plan of this area, a 7-storey  building is not allowed here”.

Governor Wike commended the construction giants, security agencies and non-governmental organisations for working with the Rivers State Government to carry out rescue operations at the site of the building collapse.

It will be recalled that the 7-storey building at Woji Road collapsed on Friday, with the Rivers State Government mobilising emergency services to rescue trapped persons.

As at Sunday, 38 persons have been rescued, while six persons have been confirmed dead.

The governor directed that rescue operations should continue.

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