The Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS), Delta State Branch with support from Delta State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA carried out a search and rescue operation at a collapsed uncompleted three storey building site in Abraka, Ethiope East Local Government Area. The building, which was a supposed hotel was located at Aghwana Avenue.
The Nigerian Red Cross Society Volunteers led by the Ethiope East Divisional Chairman of the Red Cross, Professor Edmond Atakpo and joined by the Delta State team of volunteers from the Red Cross Branch Office, Asaba, led by Comrade Paul Orukamayan, were on ground adequate man power support to carry out a comprehensive evacuation exercise.
Professor Atakpo explained that it was difficult to bring out the trapped bodies. “A tunnel had to be dug through the rubbles given the numbers of floors that buried the victims. The rescue operation saw the Red Cross volunteers digging into the debris with shovel after excavators had been used to clear off the rubbles to enable them bring out survivors or remains of some of the workers trapped,’’ he said
Atakpo informed that, ‘’In all, a total number of four persons were confirmed dead as the recorded survivors fled the building before it collapsed.’’
He also thanked the Secretary to the Delta State Government, Mr. Chiedu Ebie and the Permanent Secretary to the Delta State Bureau for Special Duties commended the Red Cross for swiftly mobilising volunteers to respond during the incident.
Speaking after the exercise the leader of the state team, Mr. Paul Orukamayan confirmed that the rescue operation was quite successful, even as he lauded the state government represented by the SSG, Mr. Chiedu Ebie and the Ethiope East Local Government Chairman, Mrs. Faith Majemite, for swiftly responding to the situation and giving the Red Cross the opportunity to play her Humanitarian role as contained in the Nigerian Red Cross Act of 1960.
He said: “Our initial challenge of getting the excavator’s/ logistic where later resolved effectively by the Delta state Government. However, I want to use this medium to appeal to the State Government and other well meaning Nigerians to support and contribute meaningfully to the Red Cross, especially in the areas of mobility (Ambulance) and in Technical support.
Mr. Orukamayan also expressed his appreciation to the Abraka community for contacting the Red Cross immediately the incident happen and equally called on other communities to emulate this attitude and be Red Cross friendly, just like the Abraka Community.
Also speaking in the same vein, were the Delta State Emergency Management Agency Director, Mr. Karo Ovemeso and the Ethiope East Local Government Chairman Chief (Mrs) Faith Majemite.
They described the Red Cross as one of the humanitarian societies that is always on ground to alleviate human suffering.