19 March 2019

Nigeria: Four Scavengers Injured in Collapsed Lagos Building

Five days after the collapse of a three-storey building at Ita-Faaji area of Lagos Island, which reportedly killed 20 people, four persons were yesterday rescued from another building collapse in the same axis. The affected building was also a three-storey building located at Oke Arin.

The incident occurred at about 3:45p.m. while officials of the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LABCA) were demolishing the building. The victims who sustained injuries were, however, rushed to the nearest hospital for treatment.

Speaking on the collapse, director of the Lagos State Fire Service, Rasaki Musbau, stated that the four rescued were occupants of the building. He said: "Information from our men on the ground at the scene showed that it was a partial collapse. They have removed four persons trapped in the building. They were all rescued alive."

Also, in a statement, the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) noted that the building had been marked by the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) for demolition.

"The building had been marked by LASBCA for demolition, which started at the weekend. The officials were on top of the building when some scavengers tried to remove the doors on the ground floor and the remaining parts of the building collapsed on them. The four scavengers sustained minor injuries and have been taken to nearest hospital."

LASBCA General Manager, Lekan Shodeinde, reacting to the development, said there was no fresh building collapse in the state as being erroneously reported on the social media. He added that three-floor structure was marked as distressed and was undergoing demolition as at press time.

According to him, the present administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode will leave no stone unturned to sanitize the building construction industry by removing all the distressed, illegal structures and buildings prone to collapse as well as those that were not in conformity with the state Building Laws.

The General Manager appealed to Lagosians to cooperate with the state government by moving out of all buildings marked as distressed and also stay away from demolition sites. He however, re-emphasized that only LASBCA has the responsibility and professional expertise to determine whether a building is distressed or prone to collapse.

Meanwhile, the Lagos State governor-elect, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, yesterday described recent collapse of buildings in the state as most unfortunate, but he praised the swift actions taken by the current administration in the state to address the problem.

The governor-elect spoke with State House correspondents after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari alongside the deputy governor-elect, Femi Hamzat. He said: "It's an unfortunate incident. Incidentally when I was in government before, I used to be the vice chairman of the building collapse committee. It was something that happened about eight to 10 years ago, which was what led to the creation of an agency called LASBCA at that time."

On what he is offering the people of Lagos when he assumes office, Sanwo-Olu said he has seen the challenges ahead and will come up with solutions without delay. "We will quickly bring about positive development that would improve the quality of lives and ease all of the challenges that we currently see in Lagos," he said.

After last week's collapse, a three-year-old survivor, Kabiru Sasore, yesterday said he is afraid of going to school again. He said he was eating in his class when he suddenly heard a loud sound, thinking it was a bomb. "I was eating in my class when my school collapsed, I heard a loud sound, and our school shook and all of us fell on each other. I was afraid. I didn't want to go to school that day, I later saw a caterpillar. Though I am fine but my back is still painting me and my neck."

He said he is afraid to go to school again because he does not want to experience the similar incident again. His aunty, Balikis Muhammed, said he was discharged from the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) on Thursday, adding that he is still on medication and has an appointment in the hospital next Thursday.

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