Four occupants of a two-storey building on Fire Service/Mbaise Road died after the building collapsed early Sunday.
Five other occupants of the building were, however, rescued but they sustained various degrees of injuries.
The Coordinator of Owerri Operations, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Evans Ugoh, who confirmed the casualties to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said rescues operation was ongoing.
"We have been able to rescue five people while four have been confirmed dead, but we are still on to see if there are others trapped in the building," he said.
Okochukwu Nnadi, a witness and tricycle operator, said the incident happened around 4 a.m on Sunday.
"I came out very early to convey early morning worshipers to church before the collapse happened.
"I was the one who rushed to the police station near the house to alert them on the incident.
"I was shocked to see four people already dead when they were brought out of the place," he said.
Governor Rochas Okorocha, who later visited the scene said, "This is very sad."
"I will take drastic measures to checkmate sub-standard buildings in this state, regardless of who is involved," he said.
Mr. Okorocha assured that the state government would take care of the medical bills of the victims recuperating in the hospital.