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Adentan building collapse: Owner built beyond approved permit, Engineering Council reveals

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Tragedy struck in the Adentan Municipality on Friday, May 5th, 2023 when a three-storey building collapsed, leaving one person dead. The disaster occurred just a week after a similar three-storey building collapsed at Madina, killing one person and injuring three others. Preliminary investigations by the Engineering Council of Ghana have revealed that the owner of the collapsed building in Adentan developed the structure beyond what was approved in the building permit.

According to Mr Wise Ametefe, Registrar of the Engineering Council of Ghana, a team from the council who visited the disaster site uncovered that the approved permit for the building was two-storey but the owner extended it to three without a permit. Mr Ametefe stated that the Council will commence detailed investigations to establish the cause of the disaster from Tuesday, May 9th, 2023.

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For the most part, the Council has directed workers at the site not to “disturb the composition of the rubbles” to facilitate smooth investigations. They will test the foundation to see whether it is a foundation problem, the concrete and the reinforcement. The outcome of the investigations will establish if there was any foul play to inform possible sanctions.

Mr Ametefe disclosed that the Adentan Municipal Assembly told the Council that they had approved the building, but it appeared that the owner developed the structure beyond what was approved. This has raised concerns about the need for stricter monitoring of construction activities in Ghana to prevent further occurrences of building collapses.

The Engineering Council, which is under the Ministry of Works and Housing, regulates the practice of engineering and provides for regulated matters to secure the highest professional standards in the practice of engineering. This unfortunate incident highlights the importance of ensuring that buildings in Ghana are constructed in compliance with building codes and permits to ensure safety and prevent loss of lives. It is also a call for building owners and contractors to adhere to building regulations to avoid disasters such as building collapses.

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