Uyo Church Collapse: COREN wades in, orders construction engineers to report or face sanction

The Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) has advised the engineers involved in the construction of the Uyo Reigners Bible Church building to report immediately or face sanctions.

Kashim Ali, the president of the council, gave the advice at a news conference in Abuja on Thursday.

While consoling the families of victims, Mr. Ali said a panel of inquiry had been set up to investigate the reason for the collapse.

“We are appealing to the engineer involved in the construction of the Uyo Reigners Bible Church to report.

“Failure is not unusual. This is because structures can fail even anywhere in the world.

“Failure is also a way of learning but the failure must come in a structured way so that it does not kill people.”

Mr. Ali said that investigation revealed that the building was located on a slope at a sharp corner of Uyo Village Road, which portrayed danger.

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He added that a small stream was also sighted near the building, adding that engineers who pass on the Uyo village road had complained about the slope of the roof.

He said findings also revealed that the many of the columns and beams used in the construction had inadequate stirrups.

“The base plates were inadequate in size to provide sufficient weld length for the trusses they supported as all the connections were by welding.

“Preliminary information from the Uyo Capital Development Authority showed that the building which construction started around 2013, had no approval.

“STOP WORK marks have also been placed on it a number of times,’’ he said.

He said the organisation was working to ensure that the designers and builders were identified, to provide more information on what happened as the buildings progressed.

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He added that soil investigation would also be carried out to further establish possible contribution of foundation distress to the collapse.

The Reigners Bible Church in Uyo collapsed on December 10 during an ordination service, claiming the lives of over 80 worshippers.

Gov. Emmanuel Udom who was also in attendance during the church service, narrowly escaped death. (NAN)