Life at the Accra Mall resumed normalcy Saturday after a ceiling collapse on Thursday raised concerns over the structural integrity and safety of patrons of the sprawling shopping centre.
A visit to the mall on Saturday showed business was in full swing with shoppers throwing occasional curious glances at ongoing works to ensure no other ceilings posed immediate or future danger.
Management of the facility had deployed technicians from Dezign Africa, a ceiling and fitting company which was conducting an evaluation of the collapsed ceiling at the Mall Square area and checking on the integrity of the rest.
Although no fatalities were recorded after the accident last Thursday, apart from three shoppers managers of the facility said sustained minor injuries, it triggered safety concerns from visitors and shoppers who became alarmed over the potential of something similar happening in the future.
On Saturday the Dezign Africa team using laser measurement tools had created a number of openings in the ceilings to allow for the safety and integrity checks and was yet to identify what might have triggered Thursday’s midday collapse.
A member of the team of workers told Graphic Online that one of their key tasks in conducting the preliminary inquiry was to record a video of the roof space for technical analysis to offer insights into the cause.
The area which had been cordoned off in the immediate aftermath of Thursday’s incident to allow for initial investigations was Saturday opened to shoppers. Debris from the fall had also been cleared to allow kiosks that operate in the aisle of the mall close to the area to resume operations.
A walk around the mall showed people busily going about their business without any apprehension.
An attendant at one of the kiosks operating close to the site who witnessed Thursday’s accident described it as having a ‘cascading sequence’.
“It came out step by step. We thought the whole ceiling was coming down,” he said, and added that one of his colleagues who was present at the time of the accident has been given some days off work due to the impact of the experience.
He said management of the mall has assured tenants that everything was under control and were doing everything possible to ensure everyone’s safety.
The shop attendant who did not want to be named, was confident management of the mall would be thorough in ensuring the mall was safe for everyone.
“I think this is the first time something like this has happened so I am sure they will do everything they can to avert any future occurrence. If it’s something that occurs always then there might be a problem but if it’s happening once after ten years of the mall opening then it’s obvious that this was an accident. So for now I can still trust the mall is safe,” he added.
No member of the mall’s operators was immediately available for comment. It had in a statement following the accident assured patrons that safety was a paramount consideration and would do all it should to protect its clients and shoppers.