…As Dozens injured, when 33-storey building in S/Korea goes up in flames***
The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola on Thursday banned commercial activities under the Marine Beach Bridge, as rehabilitation works are completed for the bridge to reopen to traffic.
The over 40-year-old Marine Beach Bridge was damaged by a fire incident and repair work was first awarded for in 2012.
Fashola while inspecting the bridge instructed ministry officials to adopt measures against street trading that sparked up the fire that destroyed the bridge several years ago leading to its degeneration.
Fashola said that construction works on the Apapa Bound Lane under construction has been completed and the section would be opened to traffic “in a few days’’.
While inspecting ongoing construction on the Apapa bound lane on the top of the bridge, the contractors on the project explained that work was ongoing beneath the bridge while vehicles plied the top.
The minister commended the level of technology being applied, while assessing the work done warned against allowing illegal activities under the bridge.
Fashola commended the contractors for the repairs without closure of the bridge.
“You have to ensure no trading or illegal activities takes place here again, in the first place that was what caused the fire that damaged this bridge,’’ he directed his officials.
He appealed to residents and other stakeholders in Ijora and Apapa to desist from abuse of the bridge that caused the damage of the bridge.
The Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Mr Olukayode Popoola explained that repair works on the bridge was 100 per cent completed.
He said 10 expansion joints and about 60 bearings were changed on a stretch of about 250 metres completing the work to asphalt stage.
He added that Jacketing of the piers that is, lifting the bridge to work underneath was completed.
Mr Kaadi Ghassan, project manager, Buildwell Plants and Equipment Industries Ltd., contractors of the project explained that by Monday the work underneath would be completed for the bridge to be re-opened to traffic.
He explained that special types of keys were used to hold the Apapa bound lane under construction bridge firmly in place for work to continue on both surface and underneath without affecting traffic flow.
Ghassan said that materials for the rehabilitation of the Ijora bound lane was being expected before the end of October and until they arrived the section would not be closed.
“I don’t want to rush to close the other section, when the bearings and expansion joints arrive, we will close to do the work,’’ he said.
The over 40 year-old Marine Beach Bridge was damaged by a fire incident and repair work was first awarded for in 2012. It went through another round of six months repairs in 2017, before the current ongoing rehabilitation that began in phases in 2020 with the entire repairs expected to be completed in March 2021.
In another development, Dozens of people were injured after a 33-storey apartment building went up in flames on Thursday night in the South Korean city of Ulsan, according to local media reports.
By early Friday morning, 88 people who had either fled the fire or been rescued had been taken to hospital, Yonhap reported, citing rescue services.
Most had low-level injuries, including from smoke inhalation.
It was not immediately clear if anyone had died in the blaze.
The fire, which is thought to have started somewhere between the 8th and the 12th floors before spreading to the upper storeys, has been brought under control.
It, however, remains unclear whether there is a risk of collapse.
Some outlets showed footage of the structure engulfed in flames and slabs of burning concrete falling to the street below.
Strong winds are thought to have caused the blaze to spread rapidly.
There have been no reports of fatalities so far.
Rescue workers from the fire brigade had tried to evacuate the apartment building’s 380 residents as quickly as possible, the report said.
Some 50 people fled to the roof of the building when the fire started.
Ulsan is a city in the south-east of the country with a population of 1.2 million people.
Additional reports from dpa