Government officials moved to seal off the collapsed Enugu building at 9A Egwuekwu Street in Maryland this afternoon.
The move by officials to seal off the collapsed building came minutes after Enugu Metro broke the news.
Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and Fire Service officials were the first to arrive at the location.
Officials of Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority (ECTDA) came in minutes later and promptly cordoned off the building.
SEMA Executive Secretary, Mrs. Nkechi Eneh, however said that her agency has been on the case since yesterday 31 July.
The agency said it mobilized first responders and supervised evacuation of tenants in the building up until 2.00 a.m. yesterday.
The agency directed residents in nearby houses to evacuate immediately, leaving property behind to make a quick and safe escape.
“We have to save lives first,” Mrs. Eneh said, “because right now no one knows whether the building will crash by the right- or left-hand side, so it’s important that everyone living close by leaves the location.”
SEMA said last night’s operation was smooth, except for a male that injured an ankle while jumping from the building.
Residents sigh with relief
The building has eight flats and seven occupants as one of its occupants moved out last month, SEMA said.
The 3-storey building was erected in 2008 and is owned by one Donatus Okeke, officials said.
Tenants in adjoining buildings had requested Enugu Metro to bring their plight to the attention of the Enugu State government.
“Many of us have been sleeping outside our homes for the past two days, hoping that the landlord will find a way to bring down the building without causing collateral damage,” said a tenant in an adjacent building.
They were unaware that officials had visited the location and taken action.
Those actions include evacuating occupants, and alerting the public on radio and on Twitter and Facebook about the building.