Under construction Ogle house collapses on labourer

Injured: Agaffi Obermuller

A young mason is now hospitalised after an under construction house, which he was working on, collapsed on him yesterday morning at Ogle, East Coast Demerara.

Agaffi Obermuller, 22, who is a father of one of Lot 15 Ogle, sustained injuries about his body, including to his head, shoulder and back. He was rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPH), where he was being kept for observation up to last evening. His condition was listed as stable.

Obermuller had been unable to walk after the incident, which occurred around 10.30am.

Stabroek News was told that Obermuller was sitting under the house when the structure collapsed, partially pinning him. At the time, four other employees were present but they managed to escape unhurt.

Stabroek News learnt that work on the building commenced about a week ago.

It is located at Lot 28 Ogle, obliquely opposite Obermuller’s house and is reportedly owned by the proprietor of a lumber yard in the community.

When Stabroek News visited the scene yesterday, no one was present on the site.

The structure which collapsed on Agaffi Obermuller

Residents of the area were also tightlipped about the incident.

Steffi Obermuller, the sister of the injured man, said she and some other relatives were sitting together when they heard a loud sound. “It was like something falling but then our house start shaking,” Steffi recalled.

“So we thought maybe the truck come and they bring bricks at the front deh because they normally bring sand and stuff like that,” she said.

She explained that upon enquiring, they noticed that the roof of the under construction house was down. As a result, they immediately rushed to scene and saw Agaffi trapped under the collapsed structure.

“He was down and like them beam for the house at the side was on his shoulder, so it wasn’t like his whole body,” Steffi noted.

She explained that an alarm was raised and with the assistance of neighbours and her father, Agaffi was rescued and taken to the hospital.

Steffi expressed concern that the owner of the building had not even visited the scene or called after the incident.

She said, a section of the house was left standing but that too collapsed yesterday afternoon.

Steffi noted that her brother told relatives that he had noticed faults in a beam and brought it to the contractor’s attention but no one paid him any mind.  “My brother saying that he told the contractor guy that the beams too small, too fine to hold up the house, the structure and they didn’t do nothing about it, so it wasn’t strong enough, it came down,” she said.

Up to yesterday afternoon, Steffi said she was unaware of a report being made to the police about the incident.

She, however, noted that officials from the Department of Labour’s Occupational Health and Safety Unit have since launched an investigation in the matter.

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