Two more survivors rescued from collapsed building in Nigeria

Nigerian rescue teams removed two more survivors from a collapsed building in Lagos on Tuesday and were communicating with others buried in the rubble, a day after the disaster killed at least seven and left many more trapped.

The 21-story building was still under construction when it fell abruptly onto a pile of concrete slabs on Monday in the wealthy Ikoyi district of Nigeria’s commercial capital.

Rescuers say they have so far managed to lift seven survivors from the rubble, but construction workers fear dozens of their colleagues are trapped inside.

Ibrahim Farinloye of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) told AFP at the scene that two of the seven were rescued on Tuesday.

“There is still hope that there are many more inside. I spoke to some of them just a few minutes ago and their voices are loud.”

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in a statement late Monday urged “the authorities to intensify efforts to rescue” the victims.

But family members were desperate for news of the missing a day after the collapse.

Sitting on the sidewalk near the crushed remains of the building, brothers Fawas Sanni, 21, and Afolabi Sanni, 17, were shocked as they waited for news of their brother.

“Our sister is inside,” Fawas said, a tear rolling down her cheek.

His sister Zainab, 25, was sent to the construction site by the National Youth Service Corps on Sept. 6, they said.

“I was the last one to speak to her before she went to work yesterday morning,” said the older brother, covering his head with his hands.

PHOTOS: Apartment building collapses in Lagos

It is feared that many people have been trapped by a building collapse in the Ikoyi area of ​​Lagos.

Credit: LASEMA, Hotgist pic.twitter.com/GOO1XUK5Uu

– Punch Newspapers (@MobilePunch) November 1, 2021

Enahoro Tony, a volunteer rescuer, was angry at the rescue operation.

“I recovered three bodies, then the army threw us out,” he said. “What is happening in this country? I hate this country,” he was enraged.

‘I still have hope’

Lagos state police say it is too early to determine why the Ikoyi building collapsed, but the manager of the Lagos emergency management agency, Femi Oke-Osanyintolu, said violations had been committed in its construction.

“We are going to get to the root of the matter to prevent it from happening again,” he told AFP.

The governor of Lagos state ordered an investigation.

Two bulldozers were digging into the concrete pile early Tuesday, as the crowd gathered outside the building.

A man who declined to give his name said he spoke to family and friends and collected the names of those still trapped under the rubble.

Across the street from the site, 65-year-old Moses Oladipo was waiting for news of his 50-year-old son, who has three children.

“He only came here to visit his friend, before his flight back to the United States, where he lives,” said the father, crouched on the ground near the entrance.

“They rescued a man last night … I thought it was him, but no,” he said.

“I still have hope.”

Building collapses are tragically common in Lagos and across Africa’s most populous nation, where poor materials, neglect and failure to comply with building regulations are major problems.

In one of Nigeria’s worst construction disasters, more than 100 people, mostly South Africans, were killed when a church guesthouse collapsed in Lagos in 2014.

An investigation found that the building had been constructed illegally and had structural flaws.

Two years later, at least 60 people were killed when the roof of a church collapsed in Uyo, the capital of Akwa Ibom state in the east of the country.

(AFP)

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