Two die, many feared trapped in Lagos building collapse

Two bodies were brought out after many hours of rescue operation yesterday from a collapsed building in Lagos.

Many people were injured while 14 were rescued.

General Manager of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) Adesina Tiamiyu confirmed the fatalities.

A four-storey building on Massey/ Carena Street off Campos bus stop on Lagos Island collapsed around

Residents said it was structurally defective, adding that a telecommunication mast was erected on the building two weeks ago.

Fifteen of them, including five children, were rescued around 6.30pm. It was gathered that at least five persons were still trapped under the rubble as at press time last night.

A woman who sells Amala on the ground floor narrowly escaped but her workers and some of her customers are among those trapped, sources said.

It was gathered that the woman stepped out of the shop few minutes before it crashed.

Another woman identified as Iya Ibeji is said to be under the rubble with her four kids. Residents said two women who sold rice and yam are also under the rubble.

Although LASEMA operatives got to the scene early, the crowd prevented them from working.

The crowd also threatened to deal with reporters, who attempted to record the incident.

The Nation observed that the crowd, which rebuffed rescuers’ entreaties from rescuers to leave the site, cut the ribbon used to cordon off the area.

The police and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) operatives could not control the crowd.

Emergency workers also had difficulty in rescuing the trapped victims because of the structure’s closeness to other buildings.

At the time of filing this report, excavation had started. One of the structures besides the collapsed building had been brought down. Electric poles around the structures were also pulled down.

Tiamiyu, who led rescuers to the scene, put the figure of those rescued at over 10.

He insisted that their primary focus was to safe life, appealing to the crowd to allow emergency workers do their jobs.

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