Three-story school building collapses in Lagos, Nigeria, children trapped

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Emergency and rescue personnel are seen at the site of a building which collapsed in Lagos on 13 March 2019.

Police said they believed scores of people were trapped under the rubble of the building which collapsed mid-morning in an area near Itafaji market on Lagos Island.

The total number of deaths from the incident remains as yet unknown, but it is sure to be more than eight people now reported by emergency agency officials.

A visit by the News Agency of Nigeria correspondent to the General Hospitals in Marina and Gbagada in Lagos, on Thursday, showed that some of the patients had been stabilised, while others were still being attended to.

Dr Ismail Ganikale, the Medical Director, General Hospital, Lagos, told NAN that no new victims of the school building collapse were brought to the hospital.

There is no word on casualties yet.

Children are carried out of rubble in Nigeria after a three-story school building collapsed while classes were in session.

The Lagos State Emergency Management Agency did not give the number of the dead, but said it rescued 10 persons from the wreckage.

Giving a brief of the situation, the Governor said he had received information that the building was a residential one, with the school operating illegally within the premises, adding that about two floors of the building sunk to the ground.

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The building was located on the Ita-faji on Lagos Island, the oldest part of the city. Some witnesses estimated as many as 100 children.

He, however, lauded the Lagos State Government for responding swiftly to the distress by deploying the emergency agency of the state for immediate rescue operation.

Building collapses are not uncommon in Nigeria.

Obiora Manafa with the Standards Organization of Nigeria told reporters that they would analyse samples of the collapsed building's concrete and steel bars "to ascertain the quality. and know whether they complied with the national building code".

She said the three-storey building was among those marked by the officials.

Presidency Muhammadu Buhari said in a statement he was "extremely saddened" by the building collapse.

In September 2014, 116 people died - 84 of them South Africans - when a six-storey guesthouse collapsed at the Lagos church complex of celebrity televangelist TB Joshua.

He called on the relevant agencies to undertake stress tests of buildings to ensure that the structures are not compromised.

‍Cases of collapsed buildings often occur in Lagos, Nigeria's economic hub, as some property owners and developers do not adhere strictly to planning and building laws and regulations.