Uyo Church Collapse: COREN Faults Structural Design

The Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria has said that the trusses and anchorages used for the roof of the Reigners Bible Church building that collapsed in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, were inadequate to support the structure.

It also announced that it had commenced further investigations into the incident to establish possible contributions of foundation distress to the collapse.

The President, COREN, Kashim Ali, said at a press briefing in Abuja on the outcome of the council’s last quarter meeting for 2016 and the collapse of the church.

He noted that after thorough observations and findings by the council, it was established that “there is sufficient reason to believe that the trusses used for the roof were inadequate to support such span and their anchorages to the columns and beams were also not adequate.”

The council recommended that a detailed analysis be carried out on the structural elements, particularly the trusses, beams and columns.

It said the designers and builders of the structure should be identified to provide more information on what happened as the building progressed, adding that soil investigation should also be carried out to further establish possible contribution of foundation distress to the collapse.

COREN noted that the roof of the church building collapsed from the centre and trapped many, especially those seated at the centre floor, killing a lot of worshippers and injuring many others.

Ali said, “In view of the foregoing, I have, on behalf of COREN and in collaboration with the Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute, constituted a special committee to carry out a detailed analysis of the structural elements, particularly the trusses, beams and columns.

“The committee will identify the consultants, designers, builders and contractors that are involved in the project, carry out soil investigation, as well as determine any other reason, which led to the collapse.”

He, however, noted that of all the incidences of building collapse in the country, less than one per cent of those involved had been identified as engineering personnel, adding that that number had been prosecuted, sanctioned or were currently being interrogated.

Meanwhile, the Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria in a condolence message to the government and people of Akwa Ibom State over the recent church building collapse in Uyo, said it would continue to work with stakeholders in the state and the country at large to avert similar occurrences.

The council stated in the letter, “It is our firm belief that Nigerians have a right to safe and liveable shelter at all times. While efforts are on to unravel the causes of the incident with respect to inputs, processes and people, among others, for appropriate learning and actions as applicable, it is our commitment to partner stakeholders to avert such unfortunate occurrences.

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