Two Dead, 14 Rescued in Lagos Building Collapse

• Whistle blowing, way out of incessant building collapse, says LASG
Chiemelie Ezeobi
In yet another building collapse in Lagos, two persons were on Monday brought out dead from the rubbles of a three-storey building at No. 9 Daddy Alaja Street, Oke Arin, Idumota area of Lagos Island, while 14 other survivors who were rescued sustained varying degree of injuries.

The bodies of the deceased had since been deposited at the Lagos Island Hospital mortuary, while the 14 persons who were rescued were treated at the emergency unit of the hospital before they were allowed to go home.

 Prior to the collapse, the 17-man crew were working at the site of the three-storey building that was undergoing reconstruction, when the ground floor suddenly gave way, burying the workers underneath the structure.

 One of the workers, 38-year-old Taiwo Omilani, however, narrowly escaped death as he had just stepped out to buy some necessities when the building collapsed.
Confirming the incident, the General Manager, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Mr. Adesina Tiamiyu, said it was the prompt response by emergency responders that culminated in the rescue of 14 victims from the collapsed building.

 He said: “The agency received a distress call via the toll free number 767/112 concerning a collapsed three -storey building on the Island, which prompted the immediate activation of the Agency’s Emergency Response Team (ERT) and other responders to the scene of the incident.

 “The other responders include the  Lagos State Ambulance Service (LASAMBUS), Lagos State Fire Service, Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the Nigeria Police Force, and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

 “The agency immediately mobilised all these stakeholders to the scene and successfully rescued  14 victims with various degrees of injuries, who were immediately moved by the LASAMBUS and LASEMA Response Unit (LRU) ambulance to Mainland Hospital for further treatment, while two other bodies were recovered dead from the debris and were handed over to the family members for burial.”

Meaanwhile, the state government has insisted that whistle blowing is the surest way to tackle the incessant building collapse in the state, adding that Lagosians must be willing to assist government by raising alarm whenever they see any illegal development in any area of the state.

The Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Wasiu Anifowoshe gave the charge at the site of the collapsed building at No 9, Daddy Alaja St. Idumota, Lagos Island, which was a defective three storey building under illegal renovation with occupants still residing in it.

Anifowoshe said: “This is one out of several worrisome experiences we face everyday on the job. Dealing with illegal developments here and there in Lagos State should be a joint effort between Lagosians and Government. We need information of such unlawful activities from responsible Lagosians so as to be able to curb the excesses of unscrupulous developers and owners of property in Lagos State.”

He added that to avert such occurrences, the State Government recently recruited additional field officers to ensure effective monitoring of defective structures however noting that government cannot do it alone.

He said: “A distress call to 767 or 117 would have averted this ugly incident. In this particular case, the owners took advantage of the long Holiday and the fact that the building is hidden right inside those narrow streets in Lagos Island to quickly carry out an unlawful renovation but unfortunately, the building came down.”

Anifowoshe, however, said that the State Rescue Team from relevant agencies were fully on ground making combined efforts in the ongoing rescue operation being carried out, adding that so far, reports show that two people have died and 14 victims who were trapped have been rescued alive and given adequate medical treatment.

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