BY OLASUNKANMI AKONI
At least two persons were recovered dead while others were rescued alive from the debris of a building that collapsed at 20, Doyin Omoluyi Street, Alapere, in Agboyi-Ketu Local Council Development Area of Lagos State, on Friday.
Two weeks ago, scores died while 33 sustained injuries when a four-storey building, located at 4, Mogaji Street, Idumota /Ebute –Ero area of Lagos, collapsed.
According to eyewitnesses, the latest incident occurred at about 6.30 p.m., on Friday, when, suddenly, the building caved in, trapping its occupants.
The collapsed building, it was learnt, was, originally, a storey building before the owner decided to raise it to a three-storey but, apparently, due to a major defect, the building finally came down on the occupants.
The owner of the building and developer were said to be on the run at press time to avoid being lynched by irate sympathizers or arrested by the police.
Lagos State Emergency Agency (LASEMA) officials, State Mobile Ambulance personnel, fire servicemen, and the police, among others rescue teams, raced to the scene immediately, and recovered two dead bodies from the debris as well as some trapped victims alive but with various degrees of injuries.
The downpour of last Sunday and early Friday could have had great impact on the fragile structure, hence the collapse.
One eyewitness, who identified himself as Mr. Fatai, narrated: “The building caved in at exactly 6.30 p.m. on Friday with cracking noise and people, mostly youths in the area offered the first aid before some people called the 767 emergency security number to alert state government which responded promptly..
The General Manager of LASEMA, Dr. Oluwafemi Osanyintolu, who led his team to the scene, said his men were on top of the situation, adding: “The entire place has been brought down, rescue mission completed.
“The seven injured victims rescued alive have all been taken to hospital for medical treatment. We made sure that all the people believed to have been trapped were rescued and taken care of immediately.”
Osanyintolu, however, said the license of the developer would be revoked while the state government might confiscate the landed property according to the law of the state.
Also, the state commissioner for special duties, Mr. Wale Ahmed, who was present at the scene of the collapsed building, decried the incident, saying, “it is a tragedy that must be avoided.”
Meanwhile, Governor Babatunde Fashola commiserated with the families of the dead victims of the collapsed building even as he said his administration would visit the full wrath of the law on people who violate the state’s town planning laws.
The governor, who spoke through the commissioner for information and strategy, Mr. Aderemi Ibirogba, during a visit to the collapsed building site, urged Lagosians to be law abiding and not to endanger people’s lives in the bid to make more money by cutting corners.
The governor enjoined residents to report violators of town planning rules and regulations to the appropriate authority, adding that there would be no sacred
Receiving the governor’s delegation including the special adviser on media, Mr. Hakeem Bello, and directors of Ministry of Information and Strategy at the site, Osanyintolu said the team has recovered two bodies and rescued six injured victims and while the agencies were trying to bring down the building.