Lagos — Fifteen dead bodies were yesterday recovered from the rubble of a five-storey building that collapsed at Ikate in the Lekki area of Lagos at 4.30 a.m. during a thunderstorm.
Eleven persons were rescued alive from the building and were taken to the intensive health care centre of the Lagos General Hospital.
At press time yesterday, many persons were still reportedly trapped under the collapsed structure as some said they could still hear people calling for help from under the debris.
Among those who died in the incident were a middle-aged woman and her infant son. Both of them were brought out of the rubble about 4.00 p.m. The woman was clutching her child when rescuers stumbled on their dead bodies. She had her cloth wrapped around her child to protect him from debris from the decking of the house.
At 7.00 a.m. when rescue work began at the scene, one body was recovered while four survivors were brought out from the debris. By 7.50 a.m., two more bodies were brought out dead, while the number of survivors remained at four.
Around 8.10a.m,, combined team of rescuers brought out another dead body and one more rescued person, while another survivor was rescued at about 10.15am.
But by 3.40p.m., the death toll had risen to 11, while at 4.00p.m,, the body of the middle-aged woman clutching her dead infant son was brought out amid tears by onlookers. At exactly 4.30pm, two other persons were brought out alive but before they could be taken to the standby ambulance, they breathed their last.
Ibrahim Farinloye, Public Relations Officer of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), in the South West Region confirmed the incident. He said, "A five-storey building collapsed on Tuesday morning at Chisco Bus Stop, opposite Oando Filling Station, Lekki Phase One, Lagos. Six trapped victims have been rescued alive, while four dead bodies have been recovered from under the debris."
Emergency workers from NEMA, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Federal and State Fire Services and the Police were still carrying out rescue duties at the site as at press time.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Dolapo Badmos who also confirmed the incident to Daily Trust, said that although rescue operation was on-going, a total of ten dead bodies had been recovered from the site.
General Manager of LASEMA, Michael Akindele, said: "Rescue operations still in progress. All responders are on ground. We have LASEMA, Lagos State Fire Services, LASAMBUS, RRS, Civil Defence, Navy and the Nigeria Police on ground."