Building collapse in Nigeria kills at least 4, many more are trapped
NAIROBI, Kenya – A 21-story building under construction collapsed in Lagos, Nigeria’s financial capital and Africa’s largest city on Monday, leaving what workers said were as many as 100 construction workers trapped and at least four dead in the latest structural failure in a rapidly expanding metropolis.
The collapse occurred around 2 p.m. in the upscale Ikoyi neighborhood – where construction is booming – in a country where building materials are often of poor quality and building standards are poorly enforced, according to the experts.
Four people have so far been rescued from the site, according to Ibrahim Farinloye, coordinator of the Lagos State National Emergency Management Agency.
It was feared that many more people were trapped in the rubble. Two workers at the scene told Reuters that 100 people were likely working at the site when the building broke.
The scene was a repeat of structural collapses that have repeatedly occurred in recent years in Lagos, Nigeria’s financial center. Experts pointed to poor design, poor quality materials and lack or insufficient supervision by inspectors as the main causes of the accidents.
In the Ikoyi neighborhood on Monday, a video posted to social media and disseminated by local media showed the floors of the building collapsed on top of each other like a layered sandwich.
Crowds immediately gathered to try to dig through the rubble by hand. Many angry residents gathered at the debris site, some crying, others clenching their fists in frustration at the slow response from authorities.
“I literally saw my life before me,” Muhammad Tukur, an eyewitness in a nearby building, said in a message on Twitter. “I don’t think I would be alive to tweet this if it was the one closest to our window. Our office vibrated as the building collapsed.
As rescue efforts continued into the evening, officials said they sent rescue workers to the scene. Mr Farinloye said authorities were trying to speed up the rescue operations.
“We are advancing in the army to take over the operations because it is beyond the capacities of the civilian operators,” he said.
Olufemi Damilola Oke-Osanyintolu, director general of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, said in a statement on Facebook: “All first responders are on the scene along with heavy equipment and equipment. life detection cards have been sent.
In 2019, a building in Lagos housing a children’s school collapsed, killing at least 20 people, officials said. In 2016, at least 34 people were killed in Lekki district in Lagos state when a building under construction collapsed. In 2013, at least seven people were killed after a three-story building collapsed in the low-income Ebute Meta neighborhood of Lagos.
Abdi Latif Dahir reported from Nairobi, Kenya, and Ismail Alfa reported from Maiduguri, Nigeria.