Several persons are feared dead and others severely injured following the collapse of a seven-storey building in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on Friday evening.

The building, located along Woji Road, New Government Residential Area (GRA) phase two was under construction before it collapsed at about 6:10pm while the workers were working. 

The cause of the collapse, which caused motorists and passersby to scamper for safety, has not been ascertained at the time of this report.

Our correspondent learnt authoritatively that 11 persons have been rescued.

Rescue operations continued into the early hours of Saturday. Two cranes have been deployed to pull out concrete slabs that have trapped many of the workers.

Members of Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, police, National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, ambulances, Red Cross were already on site for the rescue.

Scene of the collapsed building

The Commissioner for Information and Communications, Emman Okah, who spoke with journalists said it is difficult to ascertain the number of those trapped but that the major concern of emergency agencies was to see how victims could be rescued.

He said the cause of the collapse could be due to structural defect and that the state would carry out a thorough investigation to ascertain the real cause of the accident.

One of the workers, who narrowly escaped death and gave his name as Uche, said that he had finished from site but dashed out to refresh himself and later came back and collect his days’ pay, only to find that the building he just left had collapsed.

“It is difficult to estimate the number of persons trapped. We have eight machines working in each floor. And on each machines we have 22 persons attached to it. In fact we should be more than 200 persons on site,” he said.

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