Posted by PHILIP NWOSU and TESSY OKOYE on
Some lucky survivors of last weekend’s collapsed building at the Oke-Arin district of Lagos have been recounting how they escaped death. This is coming at a time rescue effort at the site appeared to have stopped amid fears by some residents that a shop attendant is still buried in the rubble.
Some lucky survivors of last weekend’s collapsed building at the Oke-Arin district of Lagos have been recounting how they escaped death.
This is coming at a time rescue effort at the site appeared to have stopped amid fears by some residents that a shop attendant is still buried in the rubble.
So far, corpses of five residents of the 31/32 Egerton Street building, among whom were two pregnant women and a baby girl, have been recovered from the rubble of what was their home before last Saturday’s tragedy.
Fourteen-year-old Damilola Afolayan told Daily Sun that he escaped death by hair’s breadth with his younger brother, Dare. However, unlike him that escaped unhurt, his brother is still being treated for a gash he suffered on the head, while trying to jump into the next building.
" Both of us ran out of the house together, but he ran back to inform other neighbours of the danger. When he sensed he might not make it out of the building alive, he jumped from the third floor into the next house, and in the process hit his head against the floor," he added.
Right now, young Damilola is trying to put the incident behind him and return to school, but he disclosed that the only hitch to that is that he has lost his school uniform and books to the disaster.
Mrs. Abosede Abeogunade, a teacher at Igbaja Primary School, Surulere, was able to come out of the ill-fated building before it collapsed. Speaking in a barely audible voice, she recounted what she said was a close shave with death.
"I was inside my room when I heard people screaming that the building was coming down. I immediately alerted my neighbours and stepped out of the house. That was when the house crumbled," she said.
Pausing to wipe tears cascading down her eyes and tugging at the dress she had on, she continued: " I have lost everything, including my credentials. This Ankara material was given to me today by a concerned colleague. For now, that is the only piece of clothing I can lay claim to."
However, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Elebile, a staff of the Federal Government Housing Loans Board believes that someone is still trapped underneath the rubble.
" I believe the Igbo man selling downstairs is still under the building. He was reaching out to us that he is trapped inside his shop and that we should get him out. He has since been silent and we can no longer reach his mobile phone," she added.
Janet Adegoke and Ruth Kolawole, living in one of the shops on the ground building, told Daily Sun that the occupants were about 20. According to them, the building had long been showing sign of distress, adding that any time the attention of the landlord was drawn to it, he would threaten tenants with eviction.
Four bags filled with different denominations of naira notes were on Tuesday exhumed from the rubble as men of the Julius Berger construction company continued their search for more bodies of victims.
The bags, which were recovered before mid-day, were quickly taken away by persons claiming to be the owners.
Julius Berger officials told Daily Sun that one of the problems they encountered was the insincerity of the people said to reside in the building before it collapsed, explaining that some of them had deceived the crane operators for their selfish interests.
"We started work here this morning and we were searching for more bodies or possible survivors, when some of the former occupants informed us that there was strong suspicion that there could be a body somewhere. We dug and dug and as soon as we were able to reach these Ghana Must Go bags, they quickly picked them and all of them disappeared,’’ a member of the Julius Berger team explained.
Daily Sun learnt that the body of the newly wedded bride earlier trapped has been deposited at the Lagos General Hospital morgue on the Island.
A witness who was identified as Abiodun Nurudeen said the woman’s husband fainted on sighting the mangled remains of his wife as it was being brought out from the rubble.
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This is a great piece of history, which is dear to our hearts as people and very much appreciated.
Many thanks to the people who worked hard in the past and those who are still making efforts to keep the institution.
The labour is obviouly worth it. We are proud of you all.
A lot still to be done, with the motivation of the champions of this course, others will follow as well to maintain the institution
May God continue to keep the edifice for development of future generations to the glory of God and the benefits of our fatherland.