No fewer than 18 persons died yesterday when a four-storey building collapsed on Lagos Island. Forty-one others were injured.
The incident occurred at No 14, Massey Street, Opposite Oja, Ita-Faaji. The building, housing Ohen Private Nursery and Primary School on its third floor, caved in at about 10:20am, trapping scores of pupils.
Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Jide Idris, who confirmed the casualty figure, said many of the rescued were taken to Lagos Island General Hospital, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) and Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), among others.
A pregnant woman, the proprietor of the nursery/Primary school, including pupils died in the collapsed building at Massey Street, Itafaji on Lagos Island on Wednesday, witnesses and hospital sources said.
NAN gathered that most of the victims were rescued from the rubble on Wednesday, but died at the General Hospital as doctors failed to save them.
NAN learnt that the pregnant woman was one of the persons rescued from the rubble, immediately after the building collapsed, but she died in the hospital.
Other persons reported dead as at 8pm included the proprietress of the school, Ohen Nursery and Primary School, about 12 pupils and some other occupants of the building.
NAN gathered that about 10 different families occupied the first and the ground floors, while the school occupied the second and fourth floors.
The school moved to the collapsed building some years ago.
Why addressing the crowd as well as distraught parents of pupils and residents of the building jammed the scene of the rescue operation hoping that their children and relatives would come out alive. Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, said he will ensure that the trapped victims were rescued and given full medical attention at various close by general hospitals. Ambode said: “I want to commiserate with the families of those that lost their lives in this collapsed building. I want to quickly let Lagosians know that this is quite an unfortunate incident. All we are trying to do is to scale up this rescue operation.
“Our response units are already here; we are getting additional cranes to be able to go deeper than where we are now to rescue more lives.
“I just want to appeal to people that when we are doing this kind of rescue operation, yes, sympathisers will naturally come, but I want to appeal that they should give the rescue workers the chance to save more lives.”
The Governor said his Deputy, Dr. Mrs. Oluranti Adebule, was visiting hospitals where some of the victims rescued had been taken to.
“The Deputy Governor is in the hospital actually taking care of those that were rescued and taken to the hospital, most especially the children. We will immediately take care of whatever it is that we can do, including the hospital bills.
“All we are interested in now is to save more lives and also see how those that have been rescued are put in proper place and proper care,” Ambode said.
An eye witness, Mr Adewale Owoso likened the moment the building collapsed to a bomb explosion.
“We were just sitting down in front of the school, when we heard a loud sound.
“We all ran into different directions but after the dust had settled, we realized that it was the building that collapsed.
“We quickly mobilized and began some rescue operation and we had rescued more than twenty people, before the emergency workers arrived,” he said.