General News of Tuesday, 23 October 2018
A mason who was working on a section of the Legon Mall in Accra died yesterday when he jumped in an attempt to escape from a collapsing beam on the sixth floor of the building.
The deceased, whose name was given only as Marvelous, is a Sierra Leonean.
Six other persons, who were also working on the uncompleted building, sustained varying degrees of injury after jumping from the same floor.
While four of the injured workers were said to be receiving medical care at the Legon Hospital at the time of going to press, the rest were said to have been referred to the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital and the 37 Military Hospital respectively.
When the Daily Graphic visited the scene around 2 p.m, the section where the incident happened had been cordoned off to allow for investigations. Some Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) personnel were seen inspecting the area to ensure it was safe.
Attempts by the media and officials from the GNFS to get first-hand information from colleagues of the victims at the site proved futile as none of them was willing to talk.
At the Emergency Unit of the Legon Hospital, one of the injured persons, Bright Ofori, 30, said he could not explain the cause of the collapse but indicated that he and his colleagues jumped when they saw the collapsed beam heading towards them.
“When I saw the beam coming towards me, I jumped off the building and landed on my feet, receiving some bruises in the process,” he stated while pointing at his swollen leg.
Although he could not give the total number of people who were working on the sixth floor, he said they were many and that some of them were casting concrete while others were engaged in other activities.
According to him, he was employed barely a month ago as a mason.
Another victim, Bernard Ashley, a labourer, said: “All what I saw was that the beam was coming towards my direction and so I needed to save myself. I jumped and l was lucky to have landed safely with some minor injuries.”
A fire officer, Mr Ebenezer Simpson, said his outfit received a distress call around 12:45p.m. after which some officers rushed to the scene.
He said although there were squatters at the facility, none of them was prepared to give any vital information to help investigate the cause of the accident.
Mr Simpson, however, noted that the contractors working on the building, which was an extension of the Legon Mall, did not adhere to some safety measures to protect the workers.
Currently, he said, construction works had been stopped pending further investigation into the matter.