President Mahama (middle) inspecting the place with some officials
President John Dramani Mahama has given a strong indication that persons whose negligence caused the collapse of the multi-storey Melcom building at Achimota would be dealt with.
The president also assured that specialized workers, as well as sniffer dogs would be brought on board to complement the “good work” of the combined rescue team underway.
President Mahama said he was on his campaign tour just approaching Bawku when he heard about the unfortunate incident and immediately had to suspend the tour to return to Accra.
“Whoever is responsible for this negligence here will pay a price,” he told the media, after a brief inspection of the scene.
“We have received a few messages from a few governments, and we have also received offers of assistance from one or two friendly government(s) that have specialized crew that are able to deal with this, some dealt with some earthquake situations, and so I have accepted that offer of assistance.”
He sent his sympathies to the injured and the dead, and ask that we all in this moment keep level heads, saying government would do its best to prevent this from happening again.
President Mahama conceded that the disaster has exposed the country’s building code and its enforcement, noting that that there has been “negligence”, on the part of many, in the construction of such high rise building.
There is therefore the need to check existing buildings to see if they are up to standard before similar calamities befall the nation, he remarked.
Safety and security
The rescue team have been tasked by the president to work throughout the night to rescue more people trapped
The President feared that Ghana being an earthquake prone zone, the likelihood for many buildings of poor quality to go down in case of earthquake is high.
President Mahama said: “We are going to put in place mechanism to check the safety and security of other high rise buildings and find out if there aren’t any more of such disasters waiting to happen.”
The president was grateful to the rescue team for the work done so far.
He also appealed to the citizens, even though he noted they meant well, to give the rescue team room to work because it is a specialized task.
The president also visited the Achimota Hospital and the 37 Military Hospital where most of the victims were taken to.
About 48 people have reportedly been rescued from the rubble, and four have been confirmed dead. Several others still remain under the collapsed six-storey building.