75-year-old, others killed as buildings collapse in Lagos
Three people lost their lives on the Lagos Island on Wednesday after a three-storey building collapsed on a bungalow beside it.
PUNCH Metro learnt that among those killed were a four year-old girl, a 75- year-old man, identified simply as Baba Olorunosebi, and a trader.
The girl, who sustained injury to her eye, was said to have died on her way to the hospital.
According to eyewitnesses, 11 people were rescued from the rubble of the collapsed building by residents.
Our correspondent learnt that among the 11, five of them were little children and had been taken to Massey Children Hospital for medical attention.
The three-storey building on Alli Street was said to have cracked and collapsed around 10pm on Wednesday and fallen on the six bedroom bungalow, killing the old man.
The trader, was said to have been sleeping in his shop on the ground floor of the three-storey building when it came down.
Residents told PUNCH Metro that the building had earlier been marked for demolition by officials of the Lagos State Building Control Agency.
It was learnt that the collapsed building, which belonged to a late white cap chief, had been marked for demolition three years ago when another structure in the same area collapsed.
An eyewitness, Mayowa Akinmarin, said he was buying food from a man in front of the building when the incident occured.
He said, “I was buying food from a vendor in front of the affected building when I heard a big bang. The next thing, I saw heavy blocks from the house flying about.
“The food vendor and I managed to escape, but his brother sustained injury.”
Akinmarin said he led other youths in the area on rescue mission and started digging into the rubble which led to the rescue of some occupants of the six-room building.
One of the residents of the affected bungalow, Mr. Joseph Owoeye, told PUNCH Metro that majority of those who escaped the incident were away from the house.
Owoeye said, “I usually sleep around 9.30pm, but on Wednesday night, I just went out to buy food and to watch Arsenal and West Bromwich Football match at Bamgbose Street along with some boys living in our house when the incident occurred.”
When our correspondent visited the scene around 9am, it was observed that state officials had completely demolished the two structures.
Policemen from the Area ‘A’ command, policemen from divisions on the Island and members of the community development associations in the area were seen directing rescue efforts, while the scene was cordoned off.
The General Manager, LASBCA, Mrs. Animashaun Odunayo, however said the agency had yet to identify who owned the house.
She said the building, which was recently renovated, had only been identified as distressed on Wednesday.
She said, “We received a distress call about the building and we visited the place on Wednesday. We sealed the place and told the occupants to evacuate immediately. We also sealed two other buildings on Adeniji Adele. We could not have demolished the building immediately because there is a process for doing things.
“Lagos Island residents are of the habit of turning a deaf ear to warnings. Immediately we left the area, people broke the seals and moved back into the building.”