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Boy loses leg to collapsed building

Posted by By JULIANA FRANCIS and TESSY OKOYE on 2007/12/29 | Views: 432 |

Boy loses leg to collapsed building

While the world was agog with Christmas festivity on Tuesday, it was gloom for several families on Lagos Island, where a building collapsed the previous night due to a fire disaster in the Aroloya area.

While the world was agog with Christmas festivity on Tuesday, it was gloom for several families on Lagos Island, where a building collapsed the previous night due to a fire disaster in the Aroloya area.

Although no death has so far been recorded in the tragedy, a 10-year old boy, Lut Ibrahim, lost one of his limbs after being crushed by heavy slabs from the collapsed building. The leg had since been amputated in the hospital.

Several others, including residents and passers-by, got various degrees of injuries while attempting to put out the fire and rescue some property trapped in the building.

The harvest of tragedies is coming at the time fire fighters from construction giant, Julius Berger, battled the flame, which was still raging by Tuesday afternoon, even as residents were ordered to vacate the area to avoid inhaling poisonous gases emitting from the building.
Speaking with Daily Sun on his bed at the Lagos State General Hospital, Ibrahim said that he was watching rescue operations when the building caved in and trapped his leg.

Choking under emotion, Mrs Ibrahim, the survivor’s mother, said life had dealt her a big blow, as she never envisaged that a calamity of such magnitude could visit her during the festive period.
Another survivor, Afolabi Ayomide, who was rescued from the building unconscious, by residents, said that he was just passing through the area when he noticed the fire and joined others to fight.

Speaking from his hospital bed, he said: “ When I got to the back of the building, I joined some other three boys to control the fire. Suddenly, there was smoke everywhere. Before I knew what was happening, I fainted. I only woke up to find myself in the hospital. I believe I must have hit my head on the concrete, because my head has been aching.”

Lateef Ibrahim was also one of the boys who risked their lives to fight the inferno. The only trophy he has to show for his gallantry is a broken arm.
Displaying his bandaged hand, he told Daily Sun the building collapsed while they were attempting to control the fire from the back of the building.

Contrary to claims by some Lagos State government officials that nobody was trapped in the building, Ibrahim believed strongly that many people had been buried under the rubble.
“ We were many battling to put out the fire. It was when I heard the siren of fire fighters approaching that I stepped out of the building. At that instant, the house crumbled like a pack of cards. I don’t know what has become of the other boys I left behind,” he said.

Akande Abass, 13, who witnessed the fire incident, told Daily Sun that one of the traders fainted when the building went up in flame.
According to him, the trader had, three days ago, stocked his shop for Christmas sales.
Abass added: “Five boys, who were trying to put out the fire jumped from the building, when it started shaking and sustained various degree of injuries.”

One of the affected residents of the building, Mudashiru Kasumu, said he watched helplessly as the fire consumed all he had worked for.

“ I just stood here and watched my property go up in flames. I saw my chair burning and couldn’t do anything,” he said.
Kasumu blamed the loss of his property to the nonchalant attitude and late arrival of men of the Lagos State fire service.

According to him, he was out with his family when he received a distress phone call about the fire incident. Immediately, he rushed to the nearest fire station with some other residents to alert them of the fire outbreak. But he said he got the shock of his life when they were turned back by the officials.

“The whole fire fighting stations we went to just kept turning us around. One of them told us that they didn’t have any means to alert other stations about the development, while another unit said they couldn’t come to the scene because of traffic jam. We lost everything to their laxity, not the fire,” he lamented.
Kafila Kafiloju, another occupant, wailed uncontrollably as she recounted that she had only moved into the ill-fated house a month ago. She also lost everything.

Although there have been conflicting reports about the actual cause of the fire, Tunde Ogundele, brother to the owner of the building, claimed that the fire was caused by naked flame from a candle used by one of the traders. However, the General Manager of Lagos State Physical Planning and Development Authority (LASPHDA), Mr Folounsho Ali, insisted the fire was caused by highly inflammable materials and chemicals.

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Comments (6)

Joel Efiong(Calabar, Nigeria)says...

This is a great piece. The examination bodies should hire you as ICT consultant.

Sunday Mbe(Kaduna, Kaduna, Nigeria)says...


Sunday Mbe(Kaduna, Kaduna, Nigeria)says...

The name ULIMASI is from the UTUGWANG tribe in OBUDU local government area of CROSS RIVER STATE in Nigeria.

Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding