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2 die as another building collapses

By Olasunkanmi Akoni, Evelyn Usman, Ifeanyi Okolie & Kingsley Ndimele
As rescue mission continued at the site of the rubbles of the four-storey building that collapsed in Lagos on Monday, another building said to belong to the Baale of Maidan near Mile 12 area in Kosofe Local Government has collapsed killing two occupants.

This is coming on the heels of the Lagos State Government’s decision to demolish nine buildings discovered to have structural defects in Lagos Island, even as they have marked five others for test to determine their structural integrity.

An eyewitness said the two-storey building that belonged to the Baale, Adelana Oniyarin, collapsed with over 20 people inside including traders and aged women and men.

As rescue teams moved to the new site at Kosofe, the General Manager of the State Physical Planning and Development Agency, LASPPDA, Dr. Oke Osanyintolu, told newsmen at the premises of the collapsed building at Alli Street, Lagos Island, that about 23 people were rescued from the rubbles.

Marked for demolition

Structures marked for demolition  are houses 20, 22, 24, 26/28 Alli Street, 4A and 9A Obe Street and 11, 13, 15 Obadina Street, all in Tinubu/Lafiaji areas of Lagos Island.

Others marked for test are buildings located on 17 Obadina Street, 30, 32, 23 and 25 Alli Street.

According to Osanyintolu, the state government had on several occasions warned landlords whose houses were not properly constructed or built over 50 years ago to re-appraise the buildings to ascertain their fitness.

Osanyintolu said: “When they failed to comply with advice, rule and regulation of the state government, we cannot allow such incidents to continue where lives and properties were lost. No defective structure in this area will be left behind.

“It is not only this area that will be affected. Other places on the Island where such structures are situated will be touched.”

He described the rescue operation as prompt and smart because “we were able to rescue 23 people including eight children, while only six people sustained minor injuries.”

Meanwhile, investigations revealed that one of the victims in the building that collapsed in Mile 12, was Uche, while the other victim was yet to be identified as at press time.

Cause

It was learnt that attempts to demolish the part of the building that extended to the road led to the collapse which killed two occupants.

Two other occupants of the building, which comprised over eight apartments and 15 shops, were injured and rushed to the hospital. Identities of the injured were given as  Sunday Chidebere and Jide Oyewole.

Nigeria Police and officials of Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps, NSCDC,  were involved in rescue operations, yesterday.

Victims’ story

Surprisingly, some occupants of the collapsed building on Alli Street, Lagos Island, were seen inside the right wing which was not affected.

On why they were not bothered about the danger of an imminent collapse, they blamed their decision  on lack of fund to rent new apartments, calling on the state government to come to their aids.

Only traders occupying shops on the ground floor were seen moving their goods out.

One of the occupants, who simply gave her name as Mrs Folayan, said her rent would expire next June. “When we parked in, the house looked very new. It was after we moved in that we were made to understand it was repainted because it was earlier marked for demolition,” Mrs Folayan stated.

The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Frank Mba, said both cases were being investigated.


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