Children Feared Killed As Lagos Building Collapses

A woman cries as the body of a child is recovered.

"The owners of such distressed buildings always boast that they have people in government they can bribe to overlook the proposed demolition of the buildings" one of the residents alleged.

A study produced by Nigeria's Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing concluded 54 buildings collapsed across the country within a period of four years, news outlet The Punch reported.

"My heartfelt prayers are with all the families affected by today's building collapse in the Ita Faaji area of Lagos Island, particularly the young schoolchildren, who are reportedly trapped inside".

Teachers on duty in the classes were also said to have been trapped in the ruins.

Many high-rise buildings being used for commercial purposes are not properly strengthened, making collapses more likely, he added.

Rescuers at the scene of the collapsed school.

The total number of deaths from the incident remains as yet unknown, but it is sure to be more than eight people now reported by emergency agency officials.

Adedoyin hoped desperately for a glimpse of her children among those rescued.

Emergency and rescue teams are now at the scene of the incident, Pulse has learnt.

Goncalves said some of the victims had been transferred to other hospitals for further treatment.

The list of survivors by yesterday evening included 22 females and 17 males.

Two teachers, three adults were clearly stated, while the 36 other victims are assumed to be children.

It was a pathetic sight of wailings and buckets full of tears as parents of the pupils of Baden Private Primary School stormed the accident scene searching for their wards.

The incident took place near Itafaji market on Lagos Island in Nigeria's economic capital at around 10am (0900 GMT).

LEADERSHIP gathered at the scene of the collapsed building that a school said to be illegally managed was located on the last floor of the building that suddenly caved in killing the occupants.

A source disclosed that buildings in the area would undergo integrity test as they had been marked for demolition and assured that any building that fails the test would be demolished.

At the same hospital, Yewande Ogunsanwo said her son remained in critical condition.

Also speaking, Adelaja Adekanmbi, the Chairman, Nigeria Institute of Building (NIOB), Lagos Chapter, called for a Town Hall Meeting, comprisimg the government, professionals, developers, and end-users in the built environment. "This would not have happened if they had adhered to government's instruction".

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.

24 hours after the incident occurred, the rescue agencies say they have reached "ground zero" on the site, meaning that all the rubbles had been excavated and there was no evidence that anyone was still trapped. All we are trying to do is to scale up this rescue operation.

The tricyclist maintained the school's name is Ohen Nursery/Primary School and that it has been running in the neighbourhood for more than three years.

It also housed shops, offices and residential units.

"And more importantly, the former vice president notes that preemptive actions need to be taken by regulatory agencies of government in ensuring that buildings that do not meet building standards are not allowed to be built with its attendant risks to lives and property", Ibe said.

Lagos governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos state about 25 people were found but some had died. But we get resistance from landlords.

School bags, toys and clothes were seen among the piles of rubble as a bulldozer tried to clear a path through the wreckage.

  • Tracy Klein