Lagos collapsed building: Twelve dead, 42 rescued

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*One of the victims of the collapsed building

Ime Akpan

No fewer than 12 persons have been reported dead and 42, mostly children, rescued from the rubble of a three-storey building which collapsed on Wednesday in Itafaji area of Lagos Island.

The children, most of whom are pupils of a primary school located on the third floor of the building, were rescued by officials from emergency rescue agencies and residents of the area, as hundreds swarmed the site.

Channels Television reports that they were immediately rushed to the Lagos General Hospital, Marina, where some parents anxiously trooped in to confirm if their children were fine.

The 30-year-old building which houses a private primary school on the second floor caved in around 10am.

It was gathered that the school have than 70 pupils.

It was also gathered that some pupils were among those rescued while many of the occupants of the building said to be a residential facility with several apartments were feared trapped under the rubble.

The permanent secretary, Lagos State ministry of health, Ms. Titilayo Goncalves, said the victims had been taken to the Lagos Island General Hospital.

Residents said the building caved in after vibrating thrice.

They added that the building managed by a developer served as school, residential and commercial.

They said the building foundation suffered major setbacks after some portion of it was removed to allow drainage dug at the entrance.

They appealed to the Lagos State government to stop developers from constructing houses beyond three storeys.

They also appealed to the government to stop churches and school owners in the area from using high-rise buildings as their base for operations

They alleged that the collapsed building had been marked for demolition but government officials failed to bring them down

“The building has been marked for demolition, but the government officials always take a bribe. The building has been giving signs of weakness but whenever government officials come, the owner always bribes them.

“The owners always boast they have people in government that they can bribe to overlook the proposed demolition of the building,” said one of the residents.

The state governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode who visited the scene  assured that buildings within the vicinity of the collapsed building would be subjected to integrity tests.

He said that if any of the buildings failed the integrity test, it would be demolished.

“This area and building here will be undergoing an integrity test. As you can see some of the buildings have been marked for demolition

“We have been receiving pleas from house owners from the area. Notwithstanding, we will go ahead with the integrity test and any building that fails the integrity test will be demolished.

“But the most important thing now is to save more lives before we talk about dealing with the culprit,” he said.

As of the time of filing this report, it was believed that more persons could still be discovered from the collapsed building as officials of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), as well as security personnel including the police, army, and National Security and Civil Defence Force (NSCDC) were still intensifying rescue operations.

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