Three persons are feared dead at the moment as the multiple sports complex at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba, Delta State, collapsed on Thursday morning.
Scores of others were injured and were rushed to the hospital.
Among the dead, our correspondent learnt were construction workers at the site of the building.
The two-storey is under construction in preparation for the 21st National Sports Festival (NSF) to be hosted at the stadium from November 28, this year.
According to reports, a team of journalists including Paul Osuyi of the Sun, Monday Osayande of Guardian and Amaechi Okwara of Blueprint who went to access the level of damage were bundled out of the stadium on the orders of the chairman, Delta State Sports Commission, Tonobok Okowa.
Mr Okowa, who doubles as Co-Chairman of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the festival tagged Asaba 2022, was said to have ordered his boys to confiscate the working tools of the journalists.
Handing out the order, Okowa said “take them out of this place, journalists are not needed.”
But when his boys were reluctant in carrying out the order, he shouted “are they still here, collect their gadgets and bundle them out of here.”
The boys, in carrying out the order, beat the journalists, heating them with sport gun and other objects.
Recall that the collapsed building was recently inspected by the Minister of Sports, Sunday Dare, who gave a pass mark, saying that the facilities were 80% ready for use.
However, some structural engineers expressed concerns over the speed at which the construction was going, doubting the integrity of the buildings under construction.
Recall, two times in six months in 2019, facilities in the stadium collapsed, causing critics of the incumbent administration in the state led by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, to question the quality of job done by the contractor of the project.
The first was the collapse of a big overhead water tank near the swimming pool of the stadium, which ended up destroying vehicles that were under the tank. The second and the most recent is the collapse of the score board in the stadium complex. The good news, however, is that God averted tragedies as none of the incidents led to loss of life.
Construction work had begun in the stadium years ago but was abandoned by the previous administration until incumbent Gov Okowa, committed huge sum of money and completed the construction of the stadium mid last year, enabling the state to host the 21st edition of the African Senior Atheletics Championship last August.