We failed to do due diligence – Melcom Group owner admits
The chairman and owner of the Melcom Group of Companies, Bhagwan Khub-Chan-Deani has admitted the company failed to do the necessary due diligence in the acquisition of its Achimota shop.
The multi-storey building collapsed Wednesday claiming seventeen lives although officials put the figure at twelve.
Mr Chan-Deani says Melcom officials had no reason to doubt the integrity of the building during the negotiations because the edifice was occupied by other reputable businesses.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Joy News when he visited some survivors at the 37 Military Hospital, he noted that with a “credible” bank like the Standard Chartered Bank occupying the same building, they thought everything was at “standards”.
The Chairman of Melcom therefore admitted that the company could have avoided the disaster had its officials done the necessary due diligence.
Meanwhile, the search for survivors trapped under the rubble of the collapsed Melcom building at Achimota is still under way as rescuers continue to haul debris from the site of the disaster.
Coordinator of the National Disaster Management Organisation, NADMO, Kofi Portuphy, says all bodies will be recovered before the mission ends.
He pats the country’s emergency response team on the back for a good job done.
Joy News’ Elton John Brobbey who has been covering the rescue operation said 50% of the rubble have been removed as at Saturday evening, and rescuers are hopeful that by the close of day tomorrow, everything would be cleared.
He however noted that volunteers working with the security services temporarily halted their operation in protest of how a colleague was manhandled by the security personnel.
Elton John Brobbey reported that the man was accused of stealing a mobile phone, an allegation he denied.
The eight-man Israeli team which arrived in Ghana Thursday to help in the operation has left the rescue scene.
Meanwhile, survivors of the Melcom disaster are responding to treatment in various hospitals across the capital.
More than fifty of them have so far been treated and discharged.
The assistant manageress of the Achimota branch of Melcom who was rescued from under the rubble several hours after it collapsed told Joy News she is still having pains in her chest and other parts of the body.
She narrated how she is struggling to get on her fit to walk without support.
In a related development, Melcom reopened its shopping malls across the country today after a closure prompted by the collapse of its Achimota outlet four days ago.
Chief Operating Officer of Melcom, Avinder Sing tells Joy News the shutdown was to honour workers of the company who passed on during the disaster.