Ghana
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Probe into collapsed building at Ofankor in limbo as caretakers clear site

The Engineering Council has indicated that a detailed forensic investigation into the collapsed building in Ofankor will be challenging.

This is because the owners and caretakers of the building had cleared and disposed of the entire debris from the site in breach of an earlier directive.

“The Engineering Council through two of its collaborative agencies – National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) and the Ghana Police Service were first to visit the site to undertake an initial assessment. Since the building was in a walled compound, strict instructions were issued to the caretaker of the project to keep the place locked and nothing interfered with on the site until Monday when a technical team from the Engineering Council was to visit.”

“Unfortunately, by the time the team got to the site on Monday, the owners and caretakers had cleared and disposed of the entire debris away from the site,” the council complained in a statement.

The Engineering Council in the statement however said, together with other stakeholders, they will do their best to undertake the probe into the disaster using the information available.

“Together with its partners (Ghana National Fire Service, Ghana Police Service, National Disaster Management Organization, Local Government Service, Architects Registration Council as well as the various professional institutions within the built environment), the Engineering Council will nonetheless do its utmost to ensure that it undertake as much investigation as available debris, access to site and information from the necessary collaborative State entities will enable,” it stated.

The Council therefore reminded the public that anytime there was a disaster such as a building collapse, the location becomes a crime scene for which reason any attempt(s) to tamper with anything on site was a crime and hampered effective investigations into the disaster.

“The critical outcomes of this investigation will be shared with the relevant State authorities as well as the general public together with recommendations to guide all affected parties,” the council added.

The three-storey building which was under construction behind the Ofankor Market near Asofan caved in over the weekend.

It is unclear what caused the collapse, but sources blame it on the heavy rains that occurred the day before. No casualties were reported.

One of the workers on the site noticed that the building was about to collapse and raised an alarm, allowing everyone to evacuate safely.

Read the full statement from the Engineering Council here