The Engineering Council of Ghana is challenged with regard to the conduct of a “detailed” forensic investigation into the viral collapse of an uncompleted three-storey building in Ofankor in the Ga North Municipality of Accra.
A viral video of the walled building last week sent shock waves across the country and resuscitated conversations about the regulation of the construction of buildings in the country.
Until the recent collapse which was casualty-free, the country had recorded six building collapses this year.
The Council says it visited the scene as soon as the news was brought to its attention to undertake an initial assessment together with stakeholders, however, on Monday, September 25 when they visited the site the second time with a technical team, the ruins had been cleared.
This, according to the Council, will render their investigations almost impossible.
“It must be stated that with the current situation, detailed forensic investigations on the collapse will be more challenging.”
That notwithstanding, it assured that the available debris from the site will be assessed.
“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 warned that clearing debris from such scenes is criminal but didn’t disclose any legal action against the owner and caretaker of the building in question.
In a related development, the Council said investigations the five building collapses that occurred between April and May this year are at various stages of completion.
It said “critical aspects” of investigations will be published for the attention of the general public when completed.
In May, Ghana recorded a series of building collapses in the Greater Accra region, Central region and Northern Region.
On May 1, a storey located at Adenta West went down. The second took place on May 5 at Nanakrom in the Adentan Municipality in Accra. On May 7, a six-storey building under construction at the University for Development Studies, City Campus at Sagnarigu in Tamale in the Northern Region also collapsed.
Another storey belonging to Word In Action Church at Old Bortianor in the Ga South Municipality under construction fell on May 9. The last to be recorded in May was on May 24 where a three-storey building at Winneba in the Central Region.
On June 21, a building under construction collapsed at Ablekuma NIC in the Greater Accra Region injuring six.