Rescue officials have recovered 20 bodies buried under the rubble after a 21-storey building collapsed on Monday in the Ikoyi part of Lagos, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has said.
According to the spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), 16 more bodies have been recovered. This brings the total figures of those killed and rescued so far to 20 and 10 respectively.
The building, situated on Gerard Road, trapped about 50 persons under the rubble, witnesses said. Residents and family members of persons trapped under the collapse besieged the site on Tuesday, furious that rescue operations were slow. On Monday, it took over four hours for excavators and other heavy equipment to arrive at the site.
On Tuesday, the Lagos State government deployed more equipment and manpower to the scene of the incident. Also on Tuesday, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu ordered the suspension of Gbolahan Oki, the general manager of the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA).
Mr Oki had, on Monday, said the collapsed building only got approval for 15 floors, and that inferior materials were used in the construction. But the state deputy governor, during a visit to the scene on Tuesday, said the collapsed building was approved for a 21-storey building three years ago.
The Deputy Governor of Lagos, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, who visited the site amid tight security, explained that the premise of the collapsed building has been sealed by the government agency in charge of testing, for more investigation into the integrity of the structure.
The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, during a visit to the scene, said anybody found culpable would be made to face the law. He said, “It’s a major incident and an unfortunate incident and there’s a rescue operation going on. “We need to strengthen regulations that are necessary when certain constructions are going to take place.