My Brother Called From Under The Collapsed Building, Relative Insists As NEMA Concludes Search

“I have a brother here and yesterday, we called our brother and we were talking to him underground. However, this morning, we called him, but we weren’t able to reach him. We saw his shirt, but we did not see the corpse,” he stated.

Mohammed, one of the relatives of the victims at the collapsed building in Abuja, has insisted that his brother is trapped within the rubble.

As at 8:10 a.m. on Saturday morning, the combined rescue team working to evacuate trapped persons from the rubble of the Abuja building collapse, left the site.

Aside those evacuated on Friday, the day of the collapse, nobody was found, according to the team.

At 7 a.m., rescue operation was ongoing, with five excavators working at the site. It was, however, later stopped as the excavators and forklifters drove away from the scene.

According to relatives of the trapped victims, some of them communicated via mobile phones from deep within the rubble, but they had lost contact with them afterwards.

Residents and sympathisers at the site insisted that many people were still burried beneath the building and accused the rescue team of not doing enough. They explained that the debris of the first floor had not been removed and that there are chances that people are still inside.

A relative of one of the trapped victims, Bala Mohammed insisted, stating that “I have a brother here and yesterday, we called our brother and we were talking to him underground. However, this morning, we called him, but we weren’t able to reach him. We saw his shirt, but we did not see the corpse and they said that they have finished. So government did not do anything and our people are under the ground.”

According to a resident, who identified herself as Oladele, the engineer told them that those that were in the building were about 18, including his workers.

“This thing happened exactly ten minutes after one yesterday and they rescued  up to 7 people. They asked the engineer and he said he brought 18 workers. Out of the 18 workers, they saw only seven people. Where are the remaining 11 people and the food seller? They worked since yesterday and this morning, they said they are tired. Both the dead bodies and those alive, we cannot see anything. It is unfair.”

Florence  Wenegieme, Acting Deputy Director Forecasting, Response and Mitigation, FCT Emergency Agency Management Authority, said their officers had gone to the hospital to ascertain the number of people who are still alive and receiving treatment.

According to her, “As at yesterday, only one person died. The other people they claimed that were in the building, we have been searching since last night and we have not be able to find any corpse or anybody alive. 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.”

Other people who spoke to journalists said the survival chances of the trammed victims are very slim, considering the way the building collapsed.

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