Rescuers try to account for children after Nigerian school collapses

Arturo Kim
March 16, 2019

Kehinde Adebayo, a spokesman for the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, confirmed the new development. "According to the Medical Director of Lagos Island General Hospital, Dr Ismail Gani-Kale, more survivors will still be discharged to their families before the close of work today", the statement read in part.

Authorities have not yet been able to give a final death toll after the four-storey building housing the school, homes and shops collapsed on Wednesday.

He has promised a full investigation into the tragedy and warned those responsible they would be "severely dealt with".

In chaotic scenes, panicked parents, local residents and shocked onlookers rushed to the area as police, firemen and medics staged a massive rescue operation. "Most of the buildings in central Lagos are old and can not pass the structural integrity test", he told AFP.

Kayende said the Lagos state ministry of health was checking with hospitals and once they had finished counting those dead the details would be made public. We can not stay there tonight, we will find somewhere else. "All defective structures should be pulled down and the culprits brought to book to serve as deterrent to others".

Oluwasina Aina, who lives on the second floor of one of the affected buildings with his wife and their two children, aged 12 and six, said he was asleep when he heard loud banging.

Elsewhere, hundreds of local residents tried to help, passing water and helmets through to dust-covered rescuers working tirelessly to sift through the rubble, some of whom appeared to be distressed.

People spray water on a child who was rescued at the site of a collapsed building containing a school in Nigeria's commercial capital of Lagos Nigeria
Nigeria building collapse – 100 children inside Lagos primary school | Daily Star

A man has allegedly threatened to commit suicide after he learnt that he lost three kids in the Lagos collapsed building in Ita-Faji area of Lagos Island.

Lagos governor Akinwunmi Ambode has said the school was operating illegally in the building and pledged to shut down similar establishments throughout the state. "If they are doing this they should help us".

The dilapidated building in the densely populated Lagos Island area of the city came down without warning on Wednesday morning. These buildings are not safe.

Building collapses are tragically common in Nigeria, where building regulations are routinely flouted.

Some 84 South Africans were among 115 people killed in 2014 after a guesthouse located within the church of prominent religious leader, TB Joshua, collapsed.

Dr Hussaini Abdu, Country Director of Plan International Nigeria, called on the Lagos state government to launch an inquiry into the incident.

In 2016, at least 60 people were killed when the roof collapsed at a church in the southern city of Uyo.

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