Some casualties recorded
The governor of Lagos state, Akinwunmi Ambode confirmed that some people were killed when a Nigerian building that housed a school collapsed on Wednesday.
“We have rescued about 25 people, some already dead,” Ambode said, even though he did not say how many died.
Ambode also said the school had been set up illegally and that buildings in the area were undergoing integrity testing.
A Google photograph of the collapsed building from early 2017 shows no sign of a school inside. The fourth storey only had the words “Olulade Villa (Psalm 27)” painted across its balcony.
Residents said seven children have been rescued from the wreckage of a building that collapsed in Nigeria’s commercial capital of Lagos on Wednesday.
The building housed a school with about 100 pupils, they added.
A Reuters reporter at the scene saw a boy of 10 being pulled from the rubble covered in dust but with no visible injuries. A crowd erupted into cheers as another child was pulled from the wreckage.
A spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency’s southwest region said casualty figures were not yet available but that many people including children were believed to be trapped.
The Lagos emergency management agency said 10 people had been recovered alive since emergency responders arrived, and others beforehand.
Panic as building collapses
Many people including school children are believed to be trapped inside a building that collapsed on Wednesday.
Ibrahim Farinloye, spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency’s southwest region, said there was no immediate information on any casualties.
“It is believed that many people including children are currently trapped in the building,” he said.
“The third floor of the building is housing a private school in the area,” said Farinloye, adding that the three-storey building came down at around 10 a.m. local time.
The building was in the Ita-faji area of Lagos island, the original heart of the lagoon city before it expanded onto the mainland.
On social media, pictures and videos of distressed parents reportedly rushing to the school were shared.
At the site, many people were shouting and screaming. A fight almost broke out as anger at the collapse boiled over.
In the crowd’s midst stood ambulances, fire trucks and a fork lift. Workers from the Red Cross and police were on hand.
A history of building tragedies
Nigeria is frequently hit by building collapses, with weak enforcement of regulations and poor construction materials often used. In 2016, more than 100 people were killed when a church came down in southeastern Nigeria.
In Lagos that same year, a five-storey building still under construction collapsed, killing at least 30 people.
A floating school built to withstand storms and floods was also brought down in Lagos in 2016, though nobody was reported injured.