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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

36 death tolls in Nigeria collapsed building, dozen missing

Source: Lagos AP 

Ibrahim Farinloye of Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency said 15 more bodies have been recovered from the collapsed Fourscore 21 storey site-building in Lagos since Wednesday afternoon after the collapse. 

So far, the number of bodies recovered from the collapsed high-rise apartment building in Nigeria’s most populous city has risen to 36. 

As the rescue effort continues, hopes have started to grow thin for dozens of families and residents who are lined up at the entrance of the premises begging to join in the rescue effort, amidst ignoring warnings by gun-wielding soldiers that they should stay away from the scene. 

No survivors have been rescued from the pile of debris since Tuesday, with nine of those brought out alive earlier in stable condition. 

The 21-story luxury apartment building that was being built toppled Monday while construction workers were on the site, some of whom were artisans who started work that day. 

It’s unknown how many people could still be trapped inside the rubble, but one construction worker at the scene had estimated that 100 people were working there when it collapsed, meaning that 55 people could still be missing. 

When the building collapsed, it took about 3 hours for officials to launch the rescue effort. That angered families and residents who further complained that the search for survivors is not fast enough, despite the use of four excavators, life-detecting tools, water and oxygen. Rescue workers are fatigued. 

The governor of Lagos has given an independent panel 30 days to unravel the cause of the accident and whether the project developers had fully complied with building laws. The six-member panel is also to examine whether there were any lapses by state regulators in overseeing the project. 

“We feel a lot of concerns of family members. People are indeed upset,” Governor Sanwo-Olu told those present at the site on Wednesday. “I can assure you we are doing everything,” he said, promising that criminal charges will be filed against those indicted in the disaster. 

Building collapses in Nigeria are frequent, including in Lagos which recorded four such accidents last year, resulting in five casualties including three children. Authorities continued to face immense pressure over the latest incident amid accusations that they failed to heed previous warnings and adopt past recommendations. 

“I think there is only one material testing laboratory in Lagos today. Recommendations were made over 10 years ago, let’s have other certified laboratory testing places,” said David Majekodunmi, chairman of the Lagos chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Architects. 



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