Synagogue: Collapse was not triggered by foundational defects, says expert | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Synagogue: Collapse was not triggered by foundational defects, says expert

Posted: Apr 17, 2015 at 12:58 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Judith Eshemitan – Reporter, Lagos


Mr. Joseph Folayan, a former chairman of the defunct Nigerian Geo-technical Association, has insisted that the guest house at the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) which collapsed on September 12, 2014, was not caused by defects in the foundation of the building.

The witness made his observation known on Wednesday while being cross-examined by counsel to the Lagos State Government, Mr Akingbolahan Adeniran, at the coroner’s inquest set up to investigate the cause of the collapse of the six-storey building.

In the Structural Integrity Test conducted by the Lagos State Material Testing Agency, the agency had claimed that the collapse which claimed 116 lives was caused by a defective foundation. But Folayan, who had earlier debunked the report stressed that the 2.2 metres by 2.2 metres used for the foundation base was adequate for the structure.

The geo-technical engineer said, “The collapse of the building of the Synagogue Church did not occur as a result of foundation failure. There could not have been overloading because the strength of the soil, based on the exhibit before the court can carry that load.”

Fadayomi a structural engineer from the Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG), in his testimony also agreed with Folayan that the building’s failure was not caused by a weak foundation.

Fadayomi told the inquest presided over by Mr Oyetade Komolafe that the collapse was caused by a combination of design and detailing errors on the part of engineers who handled the project.

According to him, all the ingredients for a sudden collapse were present in the structure before the collapse, adding that from the investigations carried out by the BCPG, the columns and beams used for construction were very weak.

The witness stated that though the Synagogue Church provided the best materials for the construction, they might not have carried out due monitoring and diligence on the competence of the building engineers.

The inquest adjourned the matter till April 23 for further hearing.