A family miraculously escaped death this Saturday in Banjul, at the junction between Angle Sea and Hagan Street, when the storey building sheltering three members of its household suddenly collapsed, causing fear and panic in that area of the Gambian capital city.
According to eye witnesses, a mother and her two kids were all in the house when the building heavily collapsed scattering and piling debris of blocks and metal everywhere in the premises. Neighbors and passers-by rushed to the scene in efforts to rescue any potential survivor. Personnel of the Gambia Fire and Rescue Services also arrived at the scene at a very short notice.
The lady who got trapped in the debris was first rescued and as the anxiety began growing from onlookers, the persistent efforts of the Fire and Rescue Services personnel paid off. They succeed to extract the two kids as they bring them from the wrecks to breathe fresh air. The three victims sustained injuries and were all evacuated to Ewdward Francis Small Teaching hospital in Banjul.
“We’ve done everything we could to save this family. It could have been worst… That’s why we thank God that this family came out of this accident with injuries and without a loss of life” Pateh Gibba, the Public Relations officer of The Gambia Fire and Rescue Services told The Chronicle.
Asked what could have caused the story building to abruptly collapse, the rescue officers’ spokesperson said “From every indication, humidity out of the heavy sustained rains in Banjul must have accelerated the fall of the building. Though I’m not speaking out of a formal investigation, it appears that the structure was built less than four years ago and you can agree with me that it is abnormal for such a new building to collapse when other structures from the colonial era are still intact in the same area. With other services, we have begun doing simulations to get to the catalyst of this accident“, Pateh Gibba told The Chronicle.
It is a known fact in The Gambia that buildings and structures not necessarily in line with basic civil engineering norms continue to be erected or seen in many parts of the country, including in Banjul where the accident happened this Saturday. This incident is an eye opener to authorities in charge of vetting such structures that unfortunately can endanger innocent lives at any moment, especially with the heavy rains pouring in The Gambia all along these weeks.