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30 Dec 2018

An Explosion Allegedly Rocked Rivers Building Before It Collapsed

The architectural designer of the collapsed Port Harcourt seven-storey building, Mr Benafeigaa Reuben, has alleged that an explosion rocked the site before the building caved in.

Reuben told a seven-man panel on the building collapse on Saturday that the explosion could have caused the building, which was still under construction, to come down, noting that he had reported his observation to the police.

He maintained that though he did not supervise the construction process, he visited the site intermittently to clarify some architectural interpretations of the design.

He said, “I was on site that fateful day. Work just closed for the day and almost immediately, my client, Sir Joseph Alagoa’s motorcade drove into the site. We heard a loud explosion, before the building came down.
“The explosion we heard on the site that day could have possibly brought down the entire building.

“I informed the police about the loud bang we heard that day on the 25th of November, 2018 and they sent a team to the area to investigate.”

The architect explained that though he did the building architectural drawing, it was supervised by a chartered architect, who sealed the design.

“I did the design of the building plan, but was superintended by a chartered architect, Joseph Yoasou, who sealed the design because a design cannot be sealed except by a chartered architect,” he added.

In his submission, Yoasou, who sealed the architectural design of the seven-storey building, admitted to preparing the design, but distanced himself from modifications done on it.

He stated, “I prepared the architectural drawing of the collapsed building, but neither me, my representative nor agent participated in the construction of the building.”

“My involvement in the entire construction of the building was only for architectural design; I don’t know about modifications made on the drawing.

“This building plan l am seeing here, which has my seal on it, is not my document. Anybody can put their seal on a document; it is not mine.”

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