26 July 2011

Uganda: Seven Injured As Building Collapses

Seven people have been injured and several property, including three cars, destroyed when a building under construction but partly occupied by tenants collapsed in Bukoto, a Kampala suburb.

The injured, whose identities could not be established by press time, were admitted to Mulago , Kadic and Life link hospitals in critical condition. The accident occurred yesterday afternoon when a second floor which was under construction collapsed, part of its balcony falling on the cars parked in front of the building.

Investigations on

Kiira Road Police Station commander James Ruhweza said investigations into the accident have started and samples of the building materials under scrutiny. "We are to take the samples to the experts to tell us if they were the right materials," Mr Ruhweza said at the scene.

Security officers said they are now looking for the owner of the building, Mr Abdu Kasirye, who has since disappeared, to help them with the investigations. Nakawa Resident District Commissioner, Monday Kintu, said by the time the building collapsed, the owner was working as the foreman of the site yet he was not qualified to do so.

"He stopped the engineer who worked on the ground floor and then started supervising the building himself. These people faulted every law of construction and the city while constructing the building," Mr Kintu said.

The president of Uganda Society of Architects, Enoch Kibamu, who visited the scene, said there was a lot of unprofessionalism in the workmanship.

Wrong materials

"The stones used are not the ones we are supposed to use and even their aggregate is bigger than the normal and thus can't hold the concrete together," he said. He attributed the accident to owners who take over the work of engineers. Several buildings have so far collapsed claiming dozens of people but no one has ever been successfully prosecuted for the deaths.

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