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Substandard iron rods, sandy concrete caused collapse of Akwa Ibom church building

Just as the Akwa Ibom State Government has declared yesterday and today (Monday) days of morning, preliminary investigations by the State Chapter of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) has traced two key causes of the Reigners Bible Church collapse Saturday to use of substandard heavy iron rods on concretes mixture that has excess sand.

In an exclusive telephone interview yesterday evening, a top executive member of the Chapter who pleaded anonymity said “I went there Sunday afternoon with some fellow structural engineers. All we can say for now is that the entire roofing rods that actually killed many were substandard and lacked tensile force to withstand excess net weight of the capacity crowd”.

“Apart from the fake rods, we also noticed, by mere touching the debris of the concrete that it has excess sand content that can easily cave in upon excess carrying capacity weight.

Efforts to speak to the State Commissioner for Works failed as at press time.

It would be recalled that no fewer than 200 persons were Saturday, confirmed dead in the collapse of the building of the Reigners Bible Church International Incorporated in Akwa Ibom State.

The collapsed occurred during the ordination of the head of the church, Pastor Akan Weeks, as the Bishop of the same Church.

The Chief Medical Director of the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, Prof. Etete Peters gave the figures of the dead Sunday morning.

Peters said about 50 were brought in injured, and as at Sunday morning, about 12 are no more.

Though the State Governor, Udom Emmanuel escaped unhurt, some of his aides were not too lucky as both the Chief press Secretary and another media aid suffered different degrees of injuries.

However, the governor has said apart from instituting a panel of enquiry to study what transpired and give recommendations on way forward, he has assured that the state government will settle the bills of those in different hospitals.

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