Published: Fri, March 15, 2019
Worldwide | By Stella Potter

Lagos building collapse search ends as anger flares

Lagos building collapse search ends as anger flares

Another body has been recovered from the rubble of a building housing a school that collapsed in Nigeria's biggest city, Lagos, rescue workers have said, taking the death toll to nine.

In chaotic scenes, thousands of people thronged the area as police and rescue workers sought to rescue the victims.

Photos published by the Lagos State government on Twitter showed massive throngs of people gathered around the collapsed building.

The governor described the incident as unfortunate, while he commiserated with families of victims who lost their lives.

The building had been marked for demolition at least three times, a buildings expert said in an interview with the Nigerian News Agency.

"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".

"We had done like 25 before the government team came", said Major, one of the dust-stained young people who spoke to SaharaReporters helping in the rescue effort.

"Most of the patients came in through General Hospital and Massey Children Hospital from where they were referred to other hospitals, including Lagos State University Teaching Hospital; Mainland General Hospital and General Hospital, Yaba".

"I am not in a position to give the number of dead", Shina Tiamiyu, general manager of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, told AP.

Lagos state Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode has said the building, which had been marked for demolition, was classified as residential and the school was operating illegally on the top two floors.

According to him, the collapsed building was one of the many buildings that were unfit for human habitation in Lagos Island.

The school owner was among the first casualties.

Witnesses said no fewer than 30 pupils had been rescued from the rubbles so far with scores of pupils and other occupants of the old building still trapped in the rubbles.

He called on the relevant agencies to undertake stress tests of buildings to ensure that the structures are not compromised.

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

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

The governor added that numerous structures in the area would be demolished as they are not structurally fit.

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

The South-West Zonal Head of Public Affairs of the Agency, Ibrahim Farinloye said the rescue operation was ongoing as at 8pm.

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