By Ikechukwu Iweajunwa
The bridge at the Children’s Amusement Park located at the Ikemba Ojukwu Centre, Owerri in Imo, on Wednesday collapsed.
Witnesses at the scene told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Owerri that nobody was killed or injured in the incident.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the incident caused pandemonium in the area, giving room for criticism by some parents whose children visited the place on May 27 during the 2018 Children Day Celebration.
A NAN Correspondent, who visited the scene, reported that the incident occurred after a downpour on Tuesday night.
The bridge, being a major tourism site, was an avenue to generate funds for the state government.
When contacted, the State Commissioner for Happiness and Purpose Fulfillment, Mrs Ogechi Ololo, told NAN that she had yet to be briefed on the cause of the incident.
Mr Collins Ibe, who witnessed the incident, told NAN that the heavy windstorm that accompanied the downpour might be responsible for the collapse of the bridge.
Another witness, Mrs Mary Nlemadim, said: “It is unfortunate that this is happening in the state, especially at a place that is supposed to be a recreation centre.
“I thank God that it happened in the night when people were not around; otherwise, there might have been casualties.
“I urge the state government and engineers working on construction projects in the state to be more dedicated and thorough,” she said.
Also, an Engineer, Mr Okechuchukwu Uba, said: “There is need to critically look at all the construction projects going on in the state.
“This is necessary to avoid unnecessary waste of resources, time and human capacity.
“These projects need to get proper approval from professional hands or bodies; they also need to be properly supervised by qualified and experienced personnel.
“Again, they have to be done systematically and not many things at the same time.
“These projects need to be finished up in a tidy manner and subjected to stress tests where necessary, before being opened to the public,’’ he said.
NAN reports that the state Chairman of the Nigeria Society of Engineers, Mr Emeka Ugoanyawu, had earlier warned against substandard engineering work in the state.
Also, the National President of Council for the Regulation of Engineers in Nigeria (COREN) Mr Kashim Ali, who led a team to visit the flyover projects in Imo, recently faulted the bridges.
Ali, as a matter of urgency, urged Gov. Rochas Okorocha, to stop work immediately.