By Albert Akpor
LAGOSâ€”TWENTY-FOUR hours after a building collapsed at Kairo Market in Oshodi, Lagos, killing no fewer than four persons;Â nine survivors were reportedly pulled out yesterday. Â
They were said to have been immediately rushed to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja,Â for medical attention.Â Hundreds of sympathisers, mainly traders trooped to theÂ site as early as 7 a.m. yesterday.
By 10 a.m, when Vanguard visited the area, commercial activities were on unhindered, but heavy duty cranes and other excavators and rescue workers of the Lagos State Government were there to save people trapped in the rubble.
A lady, who identified herself as ‘Mama Biliki’, said she escaped death by luck.
She said she had just finished selling rice to workers and had gone to look for change when she heard a loud noise.
The rice seller said she looked back only to see the building she had just came out levelled. But one of the workers on the site who did not want his names in print, said the land on which the building was being erected had been a subject of legal contention.
He said each time they resumed work at site, â€œwe always hear strange sound.Â Sometimes,Â we had had to run out only to resume later.Â But yesterday, (Monday), we heard the same sound and nearly all of us had goose pimples.
”The contractor came out of the building and made a call.Â Five minutes later, he started screaming that everybody should come of the building with immediate effect and before we knew it the building caved in.
”It was after the incident we started hearing that some people were contending ownership of the land.â€
But the Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr. Tola Kasali, confirmed Tuesday that three workers from the collapsed building had died as at 10 p.m. on Monday.
Kasali confirmed the death toll during a question and answer session as part of activities to mark the ministryâ€™s stewardship in the last one year.
According to him, â€œAs at 10 p.m. on Monday, three victims of the collapsed market building had been confirmed dead; two others are still undergoing treatment at the hospital.â€™â€™