UPDATED: Death Toll Rises As Three-Storey Building Collapses In Lagos

One more body was recovered from the rubble after a building under construction collapsed on Saturday in Yaba, Lagos, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has said.

The recovered body, found by rescue officials at around 1 a.m increased the death toll to four. Three bodies were pulled out on Saturday.

At least five workers are still trapped under the rubble of the latest incident while two people have been rescued, NEMA added.

The building is said to be under construction as at the time of the collapse was located at 16 Akanbi Crescent, off Adesina Street, Harvey, Sabo Yaba, a short distance from the main entrance of the University of Lagos.

Eyewitness accounts said the construction workers were at their various duty posts when the building collapsed on them.

However, two of them were rescued from the rubble immediately after the incident occurred in the afternoon.

An eyewitness, Alhaja Adeoye Adesewa said the building had suffered a partial collapse in 2021 but this did not stop the ongoing construction.

She said, “we are not surprised at today’s building collapse because part of it collapsed last year and we thought that the government would stop further construction on it but we were wrong,” she said.

The Director-General, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu confirmed the incident but did not give further details on it.

At press time, it was learnt that rescue operations were ongoing at the site of the building which led to the rescue of two of the victims while the remaining were yet to be rescued.

The rescue operations were jointly performed by LASEMA, National Emergency Management Agency NEMA, fire fighters, the Nigeria Police, Nigeria Red Cross and other sister agencies.

NEMA Lagos Territorial Office Coordinator, Ibrahim Farinloye confirmed that five persons were trapped underneath the rubbles while two of them were rescued, he said, “A three- storey building under construction at 16 Akanbi crescent off Adesina Adesina Street, Harvey, Sabo Yaba collapsed trapping about 5 workers.

“Two of them have been rescued alive. Heavy duty equipment are being mobilised to the scene though frustrating heavy traffic gridlock is not helping in response,” said the Coordinator.

The Saturday incident occurred barely three months after a 21-storey Ikoyi building collapsed in Ikoyi area of Lagos killing many people.

Developer Arrested

The Lagos State government says it has arrested the developer of the three-storey building under construction that collapsed at No. 16 Akanbi Crescent, Onike Area, Lagos, on Saturday afternoon.

The State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Idris Salako, in a statement, said: “the government moved in swiftly to minimize impact at the site around 3.30 p.m. on Saturday.”

”Preliminary findings indicated that the site had been sealed off twice by the Lagos State Building Control Agency in 2021 for non-compliance with building regulations, after which the site was abandoned.

“However, the developer later broke the government seal, sneaked into the site and recommenced construction without official authorisation.

“As at 9:00 p.m., one person had been pulled out alive, while two deaths were recorded.

“The developer in charge of the site has since been arrested and handed over to police, while rescue operation is ongoing,” he said.

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