June 9, 2009

3 injured as building collapses in Lagos

By Evelyn Usman & Ifeanyi Okolie
Tragedy was averted yesterday when the decking of a storey building caved in, in Oworosoki area of Lagos.
However, three persons — a mother and her two children — said to have been trapped under the debris for hours before help came, sustained serious injuries.

The storey building located on number 34, Akewusola Street, comprises 12 room apartments, popularly called face-me-I-face you, was immediately sealed by the Kosefe Local Government after the occupants were evacuated.

Eye witnesses said a crack occurred before the decking caved in at about midnight, jolting the occupants most of whom had retired for the day. The fear stricken occupants reportedly scurried out of the building for fear of being trapped under the debris, in the event of a total collapse.

But the cry for help of Mrs Akintola in whose room the decking caved in, attracted sympathisers who, at first, hesitated from going inside the building which they feared could collapse.

Report said while Mrs Akintola managed to escape, her two children, Adepoju and  and Dipo could not. It reportedly took about three hours before some brave sympathisers went to their rescue. The children were thereafter rushed to St. Daniel Hospital in the area where their fate was as at press time unknown.

One of the affected occupants, who identified himself as Albert Agbonkhale narrated: “When I got outside, I saw smoke emanating from the building. While we were making effort to put out the fire, we heard some people shouting  for help but we did not find it easy removing them under the debris because it was difficult. We had to look for hammers and started breaking the hard bricks before we eventually rescued the two children who we met unconscious.”

Fire service men as well as officials of the Red Cross Society of Nigeria, those of the Kosofe local government and some policemen were seen at the scene when Vanguard visited.

The Police, according to the command’s spokesman, Mr Frank Mba, had commenced investigation into the cause of the collapse.