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BCPG report indicts SCOAN, alleges structural compromise

By Tunde Alao
27 April 2015   |   2:40 am
AN independent investigation into causes of the collapse of a seven-storey structure belonging to Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), has indicted the religious group, alleging series of structural compromise.

Synagogue church

AN independent investigation into causes of the collapse of a seven-storey structure belonging to Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), has indicted the religious group, alleging series of structural compromise.

The report, prepared by a non-governmental organisation, Building Collapsed Prevention Guild (BCPG) and submitted to the Coroner of Inquest recently said that the structural scheme of the building violated the building design code and good engineering practice for medium rise building structures in that the design.

It also submitted that there was no rigid zones for bracing the structure and that the church did not design the frames as an un-braced structure in the absence of rigid zones as well as no provision of movement joints that could have absorbed any movement due to creep, contraction or expansion and differential settlement, among others.

The collapsed of the structure, which adorned Segun Irefin Street, Off Ikotun/Isolo Expressway, Ikotun Egbe, Alimosho LGA, Lagos State had occurred September 12, 2014.

Consequently, a total of 116 deaths with numerous numbers of injured persons were recorded. The collapse assumed an international dimension in that 85 of the dead were South Africans and a few more other African nationals.

The collapse was an embarrassment to Nigerian professionals more so because this figure out-numbered the total number of recorded deaths for similar incidents in the entire country for the past three years put together.

Determined to unearth remote causes, a Coroner’s Inquest was set up by the Lagos State Government to investigate the causes of the collapse and the recorded deaths. The Coroner’s Inquest by the hearing notice dated December 3, 2014 invited BCPG, the group of Professional bodies to assist it in the investigations as a neutral and independent body.

BCPG, comprising of professional bodies comprising all the seven professions in the building industry, set up a multi-disciplinary Technical Investigation Committee to investigate the collapse.

They looked through all available records of the design and the construction of the building; collected evidences given at the Coroner’s Inquest and data at the collapsed building site and studied and analyzed them and therefore reported the probable immediate and remote causes of the building collapse.

Report revealed that in the course of investigation, following situations were revealed: One, there was no planning approval for the building. It was discovered that there were discrepancies in the information given on the sub-soil by SCOAN and LSMTL.

According to the report, the CEL Consultant’s drawings were modeled and analyzed using the 375mm wide x 700mm deep columns sizes measured on site as jotting out from the foundation instead of the 420mm wide x 720mm deep sizes on the drawings.

Report also revealed that there were no construction records and quality control during the construction. The study examined the results of the materials gathered at the construction site and the integrity test result from Lagos State Materials Laboratory (LSMTL). This was with a view to assessing the materials used in the collapsed works and to determine the areas of focus of the investigation.

It was revealed that all the information gathered so far did not give much clue as to the quality of work done in the construction especially for the superstructure.

The group added: “The Non-Destructive tests carried out by LSMTL on the concrete foundation indicate that the concrete met the required minimum standard of 25N/mm2 (page 15 of the report on Integrity test). This is therefore acceptable. LSMTL also took two cored samples of concrete from the debris for testing. They both gave compressive strengths of 26.66N/mm2 and 27.37N/mm2 respectively. Although this met the minimum specification of 25N/mm^2, the members that the result represented are unknown. We cannot therefore confirm the integrity of the superstructure prior to the collapse”.

“From the tensile test result from NBRRI and BCPG indicated that the steel was of the required standard, although the strength of part of the one used in the floor slab was said to be slightly below specifications.Notwithstanding, the steel strength was acceptable”, report held.