•LASG demolishes adjacent building
•Building already showed signs of distress-Eyewitness
By Olasunkanmi Akoni, Bose Adelaja and Efe Onodjae
Tragedy occurred again amid heavy rainfall on Friday, when a three-storey building on Oyesonuga Street, Palm Avenue, off Oye Roundabout, Isolo Mushin Local Government Area of Lagos State, suddenly collapsed, killing at least four persons while three others were rescued.
The incident, according to an eyewitness, happened around mid-day amid a rainstorm.
However, men of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, and Lagos State Rescue and Fire Service, Nigeria Police, among others, raced to the scene on rescue mission.
According to Permanent Secretary, LASEMA, Dr. Femi Oke-Osanyitolu, further investigation revealed that the collapsed building was an adjoining building to another three-storey building.
“About eight people were said to be trapped inside the building, four, (two males and two females) were recovered dead, while three others were rescued and treated,” Oke-Osanyitolu stated.
However, when the rescue team got to the scene there were visible cracks on the remaining standing building that required urgent attention.
Rescue team had a hectic time controlling the surging crowd before it later cordoned off the area and occupants evacuated.
According to eyewitness, Mr. Tunde Ariyo, “an adult and a child were initially rescued alive, other three persons are still in the rubble and they could be dead or alive by now.”
It was gathered that sympathisers and first aid workers rescued the survivors before the arrival of emergency responders.
Subsequently, due to possible weak integrity, LASEMA men demolished the adjacent building affected by the collapse for safety purposes.
Two bodies were later recovered at about 6.30 and 7.15 pm.
Resident narrates ordeal
A petty trader who deals in soft drinks under the building, who simply identified herself as, Mrs. Bassey, said, “the building has been showing signs of distress but the landlord kept re-fixing it partially. I wonder why Government agents did not notice it.”
According to Mrs. Bassey, her refrigerator was recently stocked up before the building went down and pleaded for her to have access to remove and salvage some of her wares under the rubble.
Meanwhile, the state government, through LASEMA at about 3pm, commenced the process for the pulling down of the other building and partially collapsed three-storey building to ground zero for safety purposes.
*LASG orders full scale investigation into cause
While reacting to the unfortunate incident, Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Engr. Omotayo Bamgbose-Martins, said the state Government has directed the prompt investigation to unravel the immediate and remote cause(s) of the collapse.
Bamgbose-Martins, who spoke at the site of the collapse, said that the incident which occurred midday on Friday was a partial collapse of a building that is over 40 years old.
He said, while moves were on to determine the cause of the collapse, he directed that the adjoining building be pulled down for safety reasons to avert secondary danger.
Bamgbose-Martins, expressed regret over the occurrence, saying that “effort is on to pull out those that might be trapped in the rubble.”
He added that “the Lagos State Building Control Agency, LASBCA, and the Lagos State Materials Testing Laboratory have been directed to swing into action to unravel the cause of the collapse while the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency have since commenced rescue operations.”