Published: Fri, March 15, 2019
Global Media | By Garry Long

Building collapses in Lagos, many casualties feared

Building collapses in Lagos, many casualties feared

Adeshida, whose younger sister was the mother of the children, said she was angry because people had complained about the building for the last 12 years.

School bags, toys and clothes could be seen among the piles of rubble as a bulldozer tried to clear a path through some of the wreckage to help the rescue efforts.

He was particularly moved by the fatalities involving pupils in a private nursery and primary school.

"A lot the buildings here are not safe even from looking at the building, you should know no school should be here", Wale Wasiu said. This is one tragedy too many, given that most of the victims are school children.

Distraught parents of pupils and residents of the building jammed the scene of the rescue operation, hoping that their children and relatives would come out alive.

Ambode said he had received information that the building was a residential one, with the school operating illegally within the premises, adding that about two floors of the building had sunk to the ground.

He promised a full investigation once rescue operations were concluded and vowed that those responsible would be prosecuted.

"It is believed that many people including children are now trapped in the building", Mr Farinloye said. He observed with dismay that "locals didn't allow rescue efforts go on as fast as we would have wanted it to".

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"We get resistance from landlords but we must continue to save lives", he said, pledging to step up measures against all structures that failed to meet the correct standards, saying they would be "quickly evacuated" and demolished.

The children's rights group Plan International Nigeria called on the Lagos state government to "launch an inquiry into the incident, and ensure that all persons found culpable for dereliction of duties are punished".

More than 40 people had been rescued "but for now I am not in a position to give the number of dead", Shina Tiamiyu, general manager of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, told The Associated Press.

"That is what is important to us and the more lives we save, the better for us", he said.

Onilenla said: "My friend has seven children also trapped in the rubble".

Also reacting to the incident, Lagos State Building Control Agency LASBCA, said the building that caved in had been marked for demolition since previous year because it was discovered by the Agency to be distressed.

Newly re-elected President Muhammadu Buhari tweeted he "was saddened by the news" and charged the Lagos government to make sure "such tragic developments do not recur".

Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Jide Idris, who confirmed the casualty figure, said numerous rescued were taken to Lagos Island General Hospital, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) and Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), among others.

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