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Anguish still pervades Ebute Metta area of Lagos as no fewer than 12 people, including a pregnant woman and a six-year old boy were on Wednesday confirmed dead.....
Anguish still pervades Ebute Metta area of Lagos as no fewer than 12 people, including a pregnant woman and a six-year old boy were on Wednesday confirmed dead. Also, about 50 survivors are said to be on danger list in both government and private hospitals in parts of Lagos as rescue operations continued at the site of a collapsed four-storey building, in Ebute-Metta.
The four-storey building, containing 36 flats and 25 shops, caved in on Tuesday evening in 71a Ibadan Street, Ebute-Metta, Lagos.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Tola Kasali, who confirmed the figures, while speaking with Daily Sun on Wednesday, said the fate of those still trapped in the rubble of the building would not be ascertained as the state requires heavy equipment to hasten rescue operations. He, however, said two LASAMBUS ambulances, with necessary medical officials, have been put on standby at the site to evacuate survivors.
According to him, mangled bodies of the dead have already been deposited at the mortuary of the General Hospital on Lagos Island, where 17 survivors are under intensive care. Besides, 20 others are on admission at the General Hospital, Ebute Metta while another two are on critical list at the General Hospital, Gbagada.
Besides the 39 victims said to be under intensive care at the three general hospitals, others were rushed by rescuers to Igbobi Orthopaedic Hospital on Ikorodu road and some private clinics, including Bimbo Clinic, Dunvek Clinic, Cuba Clinic, Almat Medical Centre, Mt. Sinoi Hospital, St. Paul Hospital and St. Stephen Hospital, all located within the Ebute-Metta area.
Officials of the Nigerian Red Cross Society told Daily Sun that no fewer than 40 persons have been brought out dead, while 35 were rescued alive and are now being treated at general hospitals in Gbagada and Lagos Island.
An unidentified man was brought out of the rubble at 2.30pm alive and without injuries while a 10-year-old boy was brought out dead 10 minutes later.
Daily Sun also learnt that a young lady, who had patronized a hair dressing salon on the ground floor of the building, was trapped in the building. Efforts were on as at press time to get her out.
The young lady, who was identified as Nkechi Okafor, had called on her mobile phone, alerting rescue workers that she was still alive but needed to be brought out of the debris. She’s said to be a student of Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye.
Her friend, Chioma said: "She called me that she was in an unknown world. I rushed to the place and found out that she had been trapped in the rubble of the collapsed building."
However, rescue efforts continued till late Wednesday, with heavy lifting equipment deployed by Julius Berger and another construction company at the site to help people using their bare hands to reach those trapped.
The building, according to eyewitness, went down on Tuesday night just as many of the occupants were back from work.
A witness, who was identified as Ajala Adebowale, said: "It was a gory sight. I was coming out of my house when I heard a loud bang and the four-storey structure suddenly caved in."
Another witness, Olugbenga Oluseni, who live two houses away, traced how the building came to be. His words : "I live in two houses away from here. It is plot of land that measured 18 by 36 metres, 648 sq metres. The late owner, a woman died, over three years ago. She had three children. Unfortunately, the children never wanted to give it to a property developer. The developer played round and seized the property, got an approval for a two-story building. Regrettably, he erected a four-storey building. The government is fully aware of this.
During the foundation, a shoddy job was done. There was no proper foundation, most especially in a water logged area like this. The building has 25 shops and 36 flats with over 500 people residing in that building. We are interested in a public enquiry, we want to get to the bottom of this. Our government officials travel abroad, they know what obtains there. In overseas, people pay for just two months rent, but here people pay as high as five years rent."
Mr. Timothy Oladele, chairman of the Nigerian Red Cross Society narrated how 35 persons were rescued alive from the rubble of the building.
He said: "We have been here since yesterday, (Tuesday). We have been able to rescue about 35 persons alive and as at Tuesday 13 people were taken out of the rubble dead and we are still making efforts to bring out more bodies."
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