Home Feature Unprofessional construction caused Delta church collapse — NIoB

Unprofessional construction caused Delta church collapse — NIoB

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Preliminary report produced by the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIoB) says the collapse of the Catholic Church in Adagrassa-Ugolo, Okpe Local Government Area of Delta State was a result of unprofessional construction.

The chairman of NioB, Delta State Chapter, Mr Kingsley Oghoro who transmitted his findings to Viewpoint Housing News on Monday said, “This was an avoidable collapse.”

According to the report, poor construction methodology and excavation which created ponds on site led to the incident.

The report entitled “Preliminary Report on the Collapsed Catholic Church Building in Adagrassa-Ugolo, Okpe Local Government Area of Delta State” maintained, “The danger of unprofessional construction by religious organisations using Building Committees without the requisite professionals should be a thing of concern to government at all levels.”

The investigation found that the original building was deconstructed and replaced in 1972 with the structure that collapsed on the congregation day, Sunday, 2nd September, 2018.

The report read, “The collapsed building was a single storey blockwalled auditorium of about 15×8m in area and 3m high. The building had no structural elements such as columns and beams.

“About two years ago, the church initiated a new design towards the construction of a befitting larger cathedral.

“The construction of a new structure that encircled the existing one commenced last year and it is already at the Damp Proof Course (DPC) level,” the report stated.

“At the right elevation of the new substructure, the foundation work was observed to be very close to the old existing blockwall.

“The earth surrounding  the rear wall of the existing building was also observed to have been excavated below the natural ground level (NGL), exposing the existing/old foundation.

“The excavated soil was carted away for use in other part of the site,” the report revealed, adding that the excavated foundation on the right elevation was not back-filled and became waterlogged.

“The existing ground floor was also found not to be of mass concrete and not sitting on the substructure and without a damp proof membrane (DPM),” the report observed.

One person was reported killed and five others badly injured in the incident.

St. Paul’s Catholic Church was founded in 1918.

It would be recalled that a building of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) similarly fell down in Lagos on September 12, 2014 killing 116 persons prompting the Lagos State government to do a corona inquest.

Another tragedy of this kind struck on December 9, 2016 at the Reigners Bible Ministry, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State during a service killing over 50 worshippers.

It also happened in St Robert’s Catholic Church, Adamgbe village, Vandeikya Local Government Area of Benue State on April 7, 2012, killing some 30 villagers who were worshipping during Easter vigil night.

In all this, not a single culprit has been found and punished.

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