Apartment Building Collapses in Ainfield Province, Opthelia

Mr Vincent Perry – 22/07/2023
Eddington, Crystal Bay Province, Opthelia
Novellan National News Service

Up to 200 unaccounted for in downtown Brightwater as rescue continues

In a devastating incident, a 13-storey apartment complex in the regional city of Brightwater collapsed early this morning, following unseasonably heavy rainfall. It is currently unclear how many people were inside the complex at the time, but an anonymous source within the Ainfield division of the Emergency Services Directorate stated that officials are “cautiously optimistic that at least some may have survived”, as the structure remained largely intact after its collapse.

Rescue operations are currently underway, but due to incomplete casualty reports, an official confirmation is expected within the coming days. The building had an expected occupancy of 400 to 500 people, the majority of whom lived in multi-generational households, which are especially common in Opthelia. As of now, it is understood that only around 300 individuals have been accounted for, leading to concerns about the fate of those who are still missing.

The apartment complex is situated in a predominantly residential area, with several other high-rise buildings nearby. No immediate damage was reported to have been caused to the neighbouring structures. However, it remains uncertain whether these buildings may suffer from the same structural faults that led to the collapse; at least four of the adjacent buildings were built within the same tranche of construction works.

The ownership of the collapsed complex has been attributed to Plateau Developers, with construction being carried out by BuildPro Ainfield, and engineering consultancy provided by Thomson Architectural Solutions. While there are no definitive confirmations or evidence suggesting negligence or corner-cutting in the construction process, widespread corruption and minimal regulatory oversight have been long-standing issues in Opthelia.

Unusually heavy rainfall preceded the collapse, catching many residents off guard during the early morning hours; it is not yet known as to whether these adverse environmental conditions played a role in the incident. Local emergency services promptly responded to the scene, mobilising firefighters, police, and ambulance services to initiate the rescue operations.

The collapsed apartment complex, with adjacent buildings of the same construction.

Opthelia is known for its strict legal consequences for negligence resulting in harm, with company executives potentially facing capital punishment. However, the transparency of Opthelian legal proceedings has been a topic of ongoing scrutiny, especially regarding the prevalence of summary judgments, even for capital offenses. In 2021, after a similar collapse of a high-rise building under construction that caused the deaths of 27 contractors, the entire board of Nightshade Constructions – also based in Ainfield Province – were sentenced to death after a trial lasing just eleven days.

As of yet, there has been no official statement or action taken from either the Opthelian national government or the Ainfield provincial government regarding the incident. Similarly, Plateau Developers, BuildPro Ainfield, and Thomson Architectural Solutions have not yet publicly addressed the incident, and none were not available for comment. Rescue operations will continue until all individuals have been accounted for.

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