At least 12 persons, including nine children, have been confirmed dead while 42 others are presently receiving treatment in various hospitals following the collapse of a three-storey building in the Ita-Faaji area of Lagos Island.
The building, which houses a primary school on the second floor, caved in on Wednesday morning while pupils of Ohen Nursery and Primary School, were in their classrooms.
One of the worst hit was a woman who reportedly lost all her five (5) children to the unfortunate incident. This was made known by a source on social media, in one of his posts.
Officials of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) and other rescue officials had rescued some of the children trapped in the building, while those who sustained injuries were taken to the hospital.
Meanwhile, Governor Akinwumi Ambode, arrived the scene around 2:45 pm and was briefed by head of the LASEMA team.
He described the incident as unfortunate, while he commiserated with families of victims who lost their lives.
Ambode said his deputy, Oluranti Adebule, had also visited the hospitals where some of the victims rescued had been taken to, saying the state government would immediately take over their treatment and foot their entire bill.
“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,” the governor said.
“I just want to appeal to people that when we are doing this kind of rescue operation, yes, sympathizers will naturally come but I want to appeal that they should give the rescue workers the chance to save more lives.
“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.
“So far, from what I have been briefed, we have rescued about 25 people and some already dead but we were earlier informed that it was a school, the building is not technically a school, it is a residential building that was actually accommodating an illegal school, so to speak on the second floor.”
Ambode said the school was operating illegally in the premises and that a full scale investigation would be carried out immediately rescue operations are concluded. He also vowed that those found culpable would be severely dealt with in accordance with the relevant laws.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday described the incident as unfortunate saying he is saddened by the news.
The President via a statement sympathised with the parents and relations of the deceased, wishing them God’s comfort.
He also wished the injured speedy and complete recovery.
He commiserated with the government and people of Lagos State and pledged assistance of the Federal Government as may be required by the state.
“It touches one to lose precious lives in any kind of mishap, particularly those so young and tender. May God grant everyone affected by this sad incident fortitude and succour,” the President said.
He charged the Lagos State government to do all that is needful, so that such tragic developments do not recur in future.
Earlier, the General Manager of LASEMA, Adesina Tiamiyu said many persons had been rescued, while some deaths recorded.
“I can’t say how many persons rescued or dead. We met the local people in operation when we came in. Some had been rescued. The operation is still on,” he said.
A teacher, trapped with about 15 pupils under the rubble, called to seek for help, while Julius Berger and other emergency services were on ground to assist in the rescue operation as at 2.48 p.m.
Full names of survivors
No fewer than 41 people have survived the building collapse involving Ohen Nursery and Primary School, Ita-Faaji, Lagos Island, Lagos.
The list of survivors, obtained by online medium, Sahara Reporters on Wednesday evening, contains 41 names, five of whom are unnamed.
All of them are in stable condition.
The survivors comprise 22 females, 17 males and two persons whose gender was not listed.
Two teachers, three adults were clearly stated, while the 36 other victims are assumed to be children.
At least 12 persons, including school pupils, have been confirmed dead, but with rescue efforts still ongoing at the scene of the incident, the figures of both survivors and the dead could yet rise.