Igede-Ekiti, headquarters of Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government Area of Ekiti State, was on Tuesday thrown into mourning, following the death of a teenage girl who reportedly lost her life in a collapsed building in the community.
Similarly, three persons, a couple and their three years-old toddler also sustained serious injuries when a 120-year-old dilapidated building suddenly collapsed at the early hour of the day.
Though, the cause of the incident was still sketchy at the time of filing this story, it was gathered from a reliable source in the town that the building located along Aramoko-Ekiti was owned by the family of the victims.
The incident which has thrown the entire community into serious confusion occurred during an early hour downpour in the community.
The source said the old and ill-fated storey building had been marked long ago by the officials of the local government for demolition before the unfortunate incident.
He explained that residents of the community, including himself, immediately embarked on the rescue operations during which the surviving victims were rushed to the hospital.
Confirming the development, a Senior officials of the Ekiti State Emergency Management Authority (SEMA), Mrs Funmilola Laka, said officials of the agency are currently at the scene of the incident performing rescue operations.
She said the dead victim, a 13-year-old girl was until the unfortunate incident, a student of a public secondary school in the town.
The injured victims, she added, are currently at the Ekiti State Specialist Hospital, Iyin-Ekiti, receiving urgent medical attention.
She further disclosed that the corpse of the teenager has been deposited at the morgue of the hospital, while the agency has commenced investigations on the matter.
Meanwhile, the Ekiti State Governor, Biodun Oyebanji, yesterday grieved over the death of the 13-year-old girl in the building collapse.
During his visit to the site of the collapse, the governor described the incident as devastating and agonising, calling on occupants of dilapidated buildings across the state to relocate to safeguard their lives.
The governor, represented by his Deputy, Mrs Monisade Afuye, also visited Adeyinka Adebayo General Hospital, where some of the survivors are receiving medicare, to show sympathy and wish them quick recuperation.
Commenting on the incident, Oyebanji revealed that the government will foot the medical bills of the victims, while he directed the Ekiti State Emergency Management Agency(EKSEMA) should arrange for another habitable residence for the embattled family.
Oyebanji disclosed that he had directed the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Oyebanji Filani, to oversee the medical treatment of the victims and ensure they are given the best to fasttrack their full recovery.
To forestall future occurrence in the state, Oyebanji said the Ministry of Physical and Urban Planning, would begin aggressive enforcement of laws that would dislodge those living in dangerously unhabitable buildings across the state.
According to him, the government has existing laws that govern building habitation, saying this would be stringently executed to halt reoccurrence of such sordid and devastating scenario.
The governor who sympathised with the victims’ family, appealed to them to take the sadness with equanimity, promising that the government shall take all necessary actions to support those receiving treatments to bring them back to their feet sound and safe.
“This is one incident that really saddened my heart. How could we lose precious human life to such an avoidable circumstance? The building must have been giving some signs for long.
” If you check very well, the adjoining buildings are not even safe. The government agents will visit here soon to assess those houses and probably pull them down.
“We have enough regulations and extant laws that guide building residency in Ekiti and our people should comply while trying to apply these laws; it is for their own benefit, which is to ensure safety and avoidable loss of the precious lives of our people.
One of the children of the landlord, Lanre Olagunju, who received the entourage, disclosed that the incident occurred around 2am on Tuesday and confirmed that one casualty was recorded.
Olagunju further revealed that the building did not give prior notice or suspicion before the sudden collapse, saying other occupants of the other wing of the building had immediately relocated after a close shave with death.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the Council, Chief Babatola Ogundana, disclosed that the council had marked some buildings in Igede Ekiti for demolition, calling on the state government to swing into action and implement it for the safety of the people.
Ogundana appreciated the governor for his swift response and actions taken to assuage the feelings of the victims, saying it further confirmed that Oyebanji is running a people-centric government.
Also on the entourage of the governor, was the Permanent Secretary, EKSEMA, Mr. Jide Borode, among other top government functionaries .