The three-storey building that collapsed at the Beirut GSM market in the Kano metropolis has claimed at least two lives.
According to Musa Abdullahi, the secretary of the Nigerian Red Cross Society in Kano, an employee of the Kano Electricity Distribution Company was also electrocuted while helping to rescue the victims.
He said the official died while trying to cut the electric supply into the collapsed building but the power from the transformer accidentally relayed back, killing him.
Eight people were evacuated from the building and transferred to Murtala Muhammed Specialist Hospital, according to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), which co-coordinated the rescue effort. Unfortunately, one of them passed away in the hospital.
In a statement issued by Manzo Ezekiel, Head, NEMA Press Unit Abuja, said so far, as of 9:10pm on Tuesday night, eight persons have been rescued and taken to Murtala Muhammed Specialist Hospital.
“Sadly, one of them was confirmed dead by doctors at the hospital, six with minor injuries were treated and discharged.”
He said the secure operation is being carried out jointly by search and rescue teams of NEMA, Kano State Emergency Management Agency, Fire Service, Nigerian Police, the military, Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps, State Road Transport Authority (KAROTA), Nigerian Red Cross Society, and others.
Also in a statement by the Kano Fire Service Public Relations Officer, Saminu Abdullahi, the agency said eight victims had been successfully rescued.
He listed the names as: Naziru Abdulkadir, 24, Magaji Abubakar, 27, Abdurauf Muhammad, 38, and Minjibir Ibrahim, 46.
Others are Ahmad Buhari Haruna,16, Sadiq Haruna,19,, Abdurashid Basiru, 36, and Danladi Lawan, 29.
The statement maintained that all victims were successfully rescued alive with various types of injuries and that no lives were lost at the scene of the incident.
Meanwhile, following the collapse of the building, the Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje, suspended the swearing-in event of commissioners-designate, to honour both the victims of the collapsed building and flooding in parts of the state.
“In honour of the victims trapped in a three-story building collapse at a GSM Market along Beirut Road in the city, Kano State Government has postponed the swearing-in ceremony of commissioners-designate that was originally scheduled for tomorrow”, according to the government’s spokesperson, Muhammad Garba.
Mr. Garba claimed that the governor, although expressing sympathy for the victims, ordered increased rescue efforts in order to rapidly reach those buried beneath the wreckage.
“He also reassured us that an inquiry is proceeding to determine what caused the structure to collapse while it was still being built while bemoaning the terrible situation”, the spokesman added.