Building collapses in Lagos, school kids trapped, many feared dead

Friday, 15 Mar, 2019

Mr Babatunde Gbadamosi, the candidate of the African Democratic Party (ADP) in Saturday governorship election in Lagos state, has called for thorough and objective inquiry into the collapsed school building in Lagos.

Associated Press video showed rescuers carrying several dust-covered, stunned-looking children from the rubble, to cheers from hundreds of people who rushed to the scene. He was met by cheers from the waiting crowds outside.

One of the protesters, a woman in her late forties who spoke in Yoruba, said the government should be sensitive to the plight of parents who are battling to save their last surviving child from the disaster.

Adeshina Tiamiyu, general manager of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, said that the agency had recorded one death so far in the disaster, and had rescued almost 50 people.

As rescue efforts got underway, hours passed with little luck, most of it owing to the lack of basic equipment such as flashlights to see through bored holes and crevices.

Lagos State Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode, who visited the scene on Wednesday, said the school was not authorized to operate in the building, which was designed exclusively for residential purposes.

As many as 100 children had been in the primary school on the building's top floors, witnesses said.

Also, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki expressed his condolences to the families of the deceased in a post via Twitter.

He, however, lauded the Lagos State Government for responding swiftly to the distress by deploying the emergency agency of the state for immediate rescue operation.

Scores of children are feared trapped after the school collapsed in Nigeria
Scores of children are feared trapped after the school collapsed in Nigeria

The school moved to the collapsed building some years back.

Deadly building collapses occur frequently in Nigeria due to poor implementation of construction rules.

Governor Ambode also said a full-scale investigation would be carried out immediately rescue operations are concluded, and vowed that those found culpable would be severely dealt with in accordance with the relevant laws.

The collapse happened at roughly 10am local time on Wednesday.

He, however, assuring that going forward, structurally defective buildings would be demolished.

The three-story building is located in the crowded Lagos Island area of the coastal megacity, which is home to more than 22 million people.

The school owner was among the first casualties.

"We will be able to give total figures in the morning after we have cleared to the ground floor", Tiamiyu said.

The collapse came as Buhari, newly elected to a second term as president, tries to improve the distressed infrastructure in Africa's most populous nation.