Relatives protest as rescue efforts end at collapsed Abuja building
Relatives of victims in the three-storey building collapse in Abuja have kicked against the conclusion of rescue efforts.
Various persons protested that they had relatives under the rubble.
The combined rescue team left the site at 8am on Saturday.
The rescue team consisted of officials of FCT Emergency Management Agency, firefighters and Julius Berger company.
A three-storey shopping complex under construction in the Jabi area of Abuja collapsed on Friday, killing one person and leaving 12 others trapped.
People believed to be relatives of affected persons accused the rescue officials of not doing enough to save victims.
Some of them said that the debris of the first floor had not been completely removed, saying there are chances that people are still inside.
One of the protesters, who identified himself as Mohammed, said his brother is still under the rubble, noting that he spoke to him on phone a few minutes after the incident.
“I have a brother here. Yesterday we called our brother and we are talking to him underground and was complaining of the heat. But this morning, we called him but we did not get him. So the government did not do anything and our people are under the ground,” he said.
Meanwhile, some of those at the scene of the incident, who claimed to have rescued the initial seven victims, said there were 18 people in the building.
Florence Wenegieme, acting deputy director, forecasting, response and mitigation, FCT Emergency Agency Management Authority, said officers have gone to the hospital to ascertain the number of people who are receiving treatment and those that have died.
“As at yesterday only one person died, for the other people they claimed that were in the building, we have been searching since last night and we have not been able to find any corpse or anybody alive,” she said.
“So we cannot say that there are still people inside because we have searched right deep into the building but we could not find anyone.”
Armed policemen have been deployed to the site to keep the agitated relatives under control.