Loss of life hits six at Lagos collapsed building site

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Death toll at the Ikoyi building collapse site has risen to six, the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) said on Tuesday morning.

Director General (DG), Dr. Femi Oke-Osanyintolu disclosed this in a wee hour update sent to The Nation.

Rescue operations continued at the property located at 44 Gerrard Road, Ikoyi, despite the heavy rains and windstorm on Monday night.

Scores of artisans brought in from across the country are feared trapped underneath the rubble of the building that collapsed around 1:56pm on Monday.

According to Oke-Osanyintolu, LASEMA activated response teams from three bases- Command and Control Center, Cappa, Onipanu and the LRU Pre-hospital care and heavy duty equipment operators. As at 2:32am, Oke-Osanyintolu said a total of six deaths were recorded and four victims extricated alive.

He said: “As at the time of this report, a total of six fatalities have been recorded. With the combined efforts of LASEMA and her stakeholders, four victims have been extricated alive and are stable and currently being managed at one of our General Hospitals

“A further three were treated by the paramedics for minor cuts and bruises and discharged at the scene.“Currently all responders are on ground as search and rescue is ongoing.”

Meanwhile, residents have called on Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to order a probe and ensure officials who failed to take action despite the sealing of the said property in July were sanctioned. From documents in public, the property was sealed on July 5 after it was discovered to have some defects.

Moreover, it was alleged that approval was given for the construction of 15-storey but no one knows how the developer got to 21-storey.It was also alleged that an initial firm contracted to render structural engineering services opted out of the deal when they could not vouch for the integrity of the concrete and other materials used.

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News of the collapse and the number of persons feared to be trapped have left residents wondering why workers were still allowed into a property that was already sealed.A former LASEMA General Manager, Adesina Tiamiyu, who took to his Facebook page to commiserate with victims of the incident, urged the government to start enforcing laws on unnecessary waste of lives.

He wrote: “My hearts goes out to all emergency and other rescue and safety officers there in the rain in Ikoyi, Lagos attending to the collapsed 21-storey building.

“May God strengthen them as they work through the difficult task. I still cannot sleep especially when the rain started. Those boys got strong will. Fear would have made any lilly livered Incident Commander call off the search till after the rains.

“Also, Lagos needs to start enforcing its laws to avoid unnecessary wastage of lives. This collapse could have been stopped at least from all documents out there in the public domain.” How a project that was allegedly stopped, a project that has approval for 15 floors got to 21 and nobody stopped them and ensured it didn’t continue baffles all right thinking persons.

“Gov Sanwo-Olu, heads must roll so that others will learn to be diligent in their duties.“May the souls of the departed rest well while those still trapped get mercy of miraculous safety. It has happened before and I am a witness.”

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