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One person killed, dozens of children feared trapped in collapsed Lagos building

One person killed, dozens of children feared trapped in collapsed Lagos building

Forty-three persons, including tenants, had been rescued from the rubble by yesterday evening and rushed to the General Hospital, Lagos, while many others, mostly school pupils, were still trapped in the ruins, rescue officials told Daily Trust.

A National Emergency Management Agency spokesman late Wednesday said 37 people had been pulled out alive, with eight bodies recovered from the ruins.

Many students and residents are feared trapped in the building which collapsed at around 9.30 am Wednesday in the Itafaji area of Lagos Island, a Red Cross official said.

Workers on top of the rubble shovelled debris away as thousands of people swarmed around the site to watch, many of them angry or hysterical, with police, ambulances, Red Cross workers, fire trucks and a forklift in their midst.

In 2014, at least 116 people had died when a six-storey building collapsed in Lagos.

He described the accident as unfortunate and noted that "all is being done by bringing in additional cranes to be able to go deeper than where we are now to rescue more lives".

"On its part, the government must fast-track demolition arrangements once a building is discovered to be weak and deserving of being pulled down to save lives", he said.

Lagos state governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, says the school that collapsed in the Ilafaji area of the state yesterday March 13th, was operating illegally.




"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.

Rescue efforts unfolded in the densely populated neighbourhood in Lagos, Nigeria's commercial capital and a city of some 20 million people.

It is not immediately known what caused the structure to collapse, leaving piles of dusty concrete slabs and exposed metal.

The Deputy Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr Wasiu Esinlokun, who also visited the scene, said a notice for demolition was served on the building on Tuesday, a day before it collapsed. Instead, as the rescue work continued, the president's personal assistant posted on Twitter a photo of a gleaming new terminal at the airport in the capital, Abuja.

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

While some Nigerians were excited by the boy's rescue, others expressed concern about how the massive crowd gathered at the site of the collapsed building.

Afolabi blamed the government for the state of fix of many buildings on Lagos Island, many of which have been listed for demolition.

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

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