No fewer than 18 persons have been officially confirmed dead in Wednesday’s Lagos Island building collapse.This is as a list of the survivors emerged.
The collapsed building, housing Private Nursery and Primary School on its third floor, caved in at about 10:20am, trapping scores of pupils is at No 14, Massey Street, Ita-Faaji.The lower floors were residential.
Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Jide Idris, who confirmed the casualty figure, said many of the rescued were taken to Lagos Island General Hospital, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) and Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), among others.
The school owner was among the first casualties.She was taken to the General Hospital, where she died.
Lagos State Emergency management Agency (LASEMA) General Manager Adeshina Tiamiyu said over 41 people were rescued from the rubble of the building, which had been marked for demolition since 2014.
Abayomi Olaniyan, an eye witness who took part in rescue operation was quoted by The Nation newspaper as saying some of those trappped ” were rescued alive, some dead. One of the teachers still called shortly that she was on the ground floor of the collapsed building, trapped with 20 pupils.”
He added that “Something similar happened around here last year. The issue of building collapse is common here and government must do something about it. Houses will be marked and due for demolition but they will not demolish it; they will renovate it. So many houses here are weak; they are meant to be demolished but they will tell you they are renovating it; they will only paint it.”
Another eyewitness, Bola Ogunyemi, said: “The pupils were already lined up from their third floor classes when the school owner noticed that the building was cracking. Before the kids could be arranged from their classes, the building had collapsed”.
A distraught mother of two victims urged the rescuers to help bring out her son, Luqman, from the rubble.
The woman’s daughter, Tobi, had earlier been rescued.
Among the victims is a woman, who called his brother that she was still trapped.
She told her brother that the caterpillar was on their floor, pleading that it should be moved back
“I am under the caterpillar. Help tell the driver to move back,” the victim under the rubble told her troubled brother.
An expectant woman was among those that were pulled out of the rubble alive. A man, who was trapped in the building, was said to have come home to eat. He was yet to be rescued as at press time.
A man, Bashiru Alagbala, who came to visit his wife, was brought out dead.
A family of four – father, mother, son and grandson – was also trapped. Father, mother and grandson were rescued but the son was said to be still under the rubble.
The Nation also qouted a source as saying that one of the dead was a pupil, who turned 10 yesterday.
The source said: “Today (yesterday) is his birthday and it is unfortunate that he died today. I learnt that he told his mother that he did not want to go to school today (yesterday). His mother must have seen him as a lazy boy. Sometimes, these little children see what we adults do not see. His mother should have talked about why he did not want to go to school, but I learnt his mother forced him to go and he died. She must be regretting that now.”
Another source said a pair of twin brothers was also trapped in the building. One was said to have died; the other was rescued alive with serious injuries.
A woman, who refused to be named, said her daughter, Azeezat, was still trapped in the rubble. She said she had been to all the hospitals but did not find her.
A former teacher in the school, Bukola Salami, said the building had been shaking since last year.
“I worked in the school for six months and I resigned last December because the building was shaking. When I was in the school, I used to hear sounds as if someone was throwing stones from the walls. The building cracks and the walls shake at times. I told the school owner about my observations, I told her to relocate the school elsewhere, but she said there was no money for the school to be relocated. I resigned last year because of the fear that someday the building might collapse.”
The Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Titi Gonclaves, told reporters at the Lagos Island General Hospital that five of the 20 early casualties were transferred to other hospitals after being attended to.
At the entrance of the hospital was pasted 41 names of the stable survivors: 22 females, 17 males. Two were unidentified.
SOME OF THE SURVIVORS
Rasheed Lasbat (f)
Ogunsanwo Olumide (m)
Adeyemo Kehinde (f)
Adedoyin Rukayat (f)
Sanusi Rukayat (f)
Sulaimon Baraka (f)
Rasheed Shukurat (f)
Komolafe Saidat (f)
Hassan Omotolani (f)
Abimbola Faruq (m)
Alabi Qayum (m)
Afolabi Rodiat (f)
Olawusi Rokibat (f)
Alawu Tayibat (f)
Rasheed Labat (f)
Noimot Tise (f)
Alabi Kabiru (m)
Shasore Kabiru (m)
Ogunsanwo Daniel (m)
Owolabi Ayomide (m)
Ayeni Faruq (m)
Amoo Khalid (m)
Unknown (Iya Ope) (f)
Johnson Esther (f)
Hassan Jamiu (m)
Ajibade Saratu (f)
Samuel Esther (f)
Adesegiri Kemi (f)
Wasiu Segun (m)
Ayeni Asabi (f)
Alabi Kabiru (m)
Mubarak Olayinka (m)
Hassan Jamiu (m)
Ayanbola Demola (m)
Afolabi Samiat (f)
Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode visited the scene of the incident at about 2:42pm, describing the incident as “unfortunate”.
He urged residents to allow rescuers space to carry out their operations.
Ambode said: “I want to commiserate with the families of those that lost their lives in this collapsed building. I want to quickly let Lagosians know that this is quite an unfortunate incident. All we are trying to do is to scale up this rescue operation.
“Our response units are already here; we are getting additional cranes to be able to go deeper than where we are now to rescue more lives.
“I just want to appeal to people that when we are doing this kind of rescue operation, yes, sympathisers will naturally come, but I want to appeal that they should give the rescue workers the chance to save more lives.”