At least three people were killed on Wednesday night when a three storey building collapsed on a six bedroom structures in Lagos.
Those killed in the incident includes a four year-old girl, an 82 year-old man and a middle aged Igbo trader. Also, four children along with an old woman, three girls and two middle aged men were rescued by youths from the debris of the collapsed building with injuries on their body.
According to eye witness, the 3 storey building situated at 15 Alli Street, Lagos Island cracked and collapsed at about 09.55pm and fell on top of the six bedroom bungalow situated at 13 Alli Street, killing the old man and the Igbo trader who was sleeping in his shop under the dilapidated building.
It was gathered that the 3 storey building had been marked for demolition by the officials of the Lagos state government and had sent out the occupants before the structure finally collapsed.
The eye witness who claimed to be buying roasted meat popularly called ‘Suya’ from a Hausa man at the front of the collapsed building said “I just heard ‘bang’ sound as if there was a bomb and saw heavy bricks from the house was flying about”.
“I and the Hausa man selling Suya managed to escaped, but the Hausa man’s junior brother who was trying to pack their loads sustained fatal injury on his head. We ran away from the spot returned after five minutes to see what happened”, he narrated.
The source, identified as Segun Doctor claimed to have led other youths in the area on rescue mission and started digging the rumble which led to the setting free of some of the occupants in the six rooms building.
Five rescued small children were immediately taken to Massey children Hospital for prompt medical attention where one of them who sustained fatal injury on her eye died, while two girls who sustained injuries were taken to Lagos General Hospital and others whose injuries are minor went to a nearby chemist for treatment.One of the residents of the affected six rooms building identified as Mr. Joseph Owoeye told our correspondent that majority of them who escaped the incident were away from home watching European football match somewhere.
Owoeye said, “I usually sleep around 9.30pm, but today’s (Wednesday) night, i just went out to buy food and to watch Arsenal football match at Bamgbose Street along with some boys living in our house when the incident occurred”.
It was reliably gathered that the collapsed building which belong to a late white cap chief, had been marked for demolition three years ago when another structure on the same Street collapsed, but was later left off the hook when the owner ‘settled’.
Some youths from Bamgbose area however protested to the police on ground that the state government should come and demolish another dilapidated building belonging same owner of the collapsed building, situated at 16 Bamgbose Street, Lagos Island before it collapse and kill people around it.
When our correspondent visited the scene of incident during rescue operation time, Police from the Area ‘A’ command, Divisional police stations on the Island, Commander of the State Security outfit, Rapid Respond Squad (RRS), Hakeem Odumosu and his men, as well as members of Pashi/Willoughby, Olosun, Obadina, and Alaagba Community Development Associations (CDAs) so also the leaders of CDC were seen directing the operation and calling the State Emergency numbers and fire service.
Officials of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Fire servicemen and a LASAMBUS later came and joined others for the rescue operation, while a heavy duty caterpillar brought to exhume the remains of the Igbo man which had been buried in the rubbles from the collapsed 3 storey building.
Reacting to the incident, a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon Akeem Masha representing Lagos Island constituency I described the incident as sad and sympathetic.
He urged Lagosians to always be the eyes of the government by reporting any dilapidated structures in their areas to State or Local Governments for prompt action.
“We should not continue to wait or shy away from such until many innocent lives were lost to somebody’s selfishness. Let us all work together and salvage our state from the shylock developers”, he remarked.