NB247

No fewer than three persons have died after a Multi-Storey building collapsed on Monday in Ikoyi, Lagos.

The building, located at 20, Gerrard Road, was under construction.

The collapsed building

Several persons are believed to be trapped under the rubble even as efforts were ongoing to rescue them.

However, four survivors were taken out as heavy machinery were deployed to removed the rubble and twisted metals.

It is still unclear the real cause of the collapse of the building, which came down at at about 3pm.

Construction worker Eric Tetteh, 41, told AP news agency that his teams had been waiting for an excavator to arrive at the site when the building suddenly fell.

“Me and my brother, we escaped, but more people are there – more than 100 people,” he said.

A witness who was working in an office building opposite the site told the BBC’s Outside Source programme that he heard a sound, looked out of his window and “saw the building literally going down floor by floor.”

Local authorities have put an emergency rescue plan into place, and local officials have visited the site.

But according to AP, Lagos’ deputy governor Femi Hamzat was met by crowds of angry people who accused authorities of not starting rescue efforts soon enough.

There have been several building collapses in Lagos in recent years.

In 2019, 10 people died after a school collapsed in the commercial hub.

And in 2014, a six-storey building fell during a service by a celebrity televangelist, killing 116 people.

Building standards have often been criticised and Lagos state authorities recently launched a new scheme to improve certification.

Meanwhile, the General Manager, Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), Gbolahan Oki, has said that the owner of the building, was given approval to construct only 15 floors against the 21 floors he built.

Mr Oki told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on telephone that the owner of the property had been arrested and would face the law because people have died in the disaster.

He got an approval for a 15-storey building and he exceeded his limit,” Oki said.

“I am on ground here and the materials he used are so inferior and terrible.

“The materials he used, the reinforcement, are so terrible. He got approval for 15 floors but built 21.

“I think he has been locked down. He has been arrested before now.”

He said four people were rescued alive and three people died, adding that rescue efforts were still ongoing.

We are still here and have four machines working as at this moment,” he added.

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