Home » Ofankor Building Collapse: Engineering Council Launches Probe Amid Public Outrage 

Ofankor Building Collapse: Engineering Council Launches Probe Amid Public Outrage 

The Council says it will work diligently with NADMO, the police and other partners to find out what caused the incident.

by Motoni Olodun

A three-story building under construction collapsed at Ofankor, a suburb of Accra, Ghana, on Saturday, September 23, sparking public outrage and calls for stricter construction industry regulation. The Engineering Council of Ghana has announced that it has initiated investigations into the incident, which was captured on a viral video and shared on social media. No casualties were reported, but the cause of the collapse remains unknown.

According to a press release by the Council, a technical team visited the site shortly after the news broke in collaboration with the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) and the Ghana Police Service. They found that the building did not have the necessary permit and had not undergone any safety inspection. They instructed the caretaker to keep the place locked and prevent any interference with the rubble until further notice.

However, when the team returned to the site on Monday, they discovered that the owners and caretakers had cleared and disposed of the entire debris, making it difficult to conduct a detailed forensic investigation. The Council said it would work diligently with NADMO, the police, and other partners to ensure it undertakes as much investigation as possible with the available evidence and information.

The Council also reminded the general public that attempting to tamper with a disaster site is a crime and hampers effective investigations. It urged the public to engage licensed engineering practitioners, firms, and entities in the design, construction, and supervision of all structures and services of an engineering nature, as required by law. It also advised developers to use qualified architects to design their buildings in Ghana.

The collapse of the building at Ofankor has raised concerns about the quality and safety of facilities in Ghana, especially those under construction. In 2012, a six-story shopping mall collapsed in Accra, killing at least nine people and injuring dozens more. The owners and contractors blamed the incident on faulty construction and negligence. In 2016, another building collapsed at Nii Boi Town, also in Accra, killing one person and injuring several others.

The Ghana Institution of Engineering (GhIE) has called for a national audit of all buildings in Ghana to identify and rectify any defects that may threaten public safety. The GhIE has also proposed a Building Code Enforcement Agency to ensure building standards and regulations compliance. The GhIE president, Ing. Leslie Alex Ayeh, said such measures would help prevent future disasters and save lives.

The government of Ghana has also expressed its commitment to ensuring that buildings are constructed according to approved plans and specifications. President John Dramani Mahama said those responsible for the negligence that led to the collapse of the building at Ofankor would pay the price. He said that his administration would not tolerate any compromise on quality and safety in the construction sector.

The Engineering Council of Ghana said it would share the outcomes of its investigation with the relevant authorities and the public, along with recommendations to guide all affected parties. It also expressed its sympathy to the owners and caretakers of the collapsed building and assured them of its support.

Source: myjoyonline

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