Metro

Buhari laments Lagos building collapse **Death toll hits 10, 24 rescued

By BENJAMIN OMOIKE

President Muhammadu Buhari has said he is pained by the collapse of a three-storey building in Lagos, in which no fewer than eight persons have died.

The incident occurred on Ibadan Street in the Ebute Metta area of Lagos last Sunday night.

Buhari, in a statement on Monday, by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, also lamented the rate at which structures have been collapsing in the country.

The President commiserated with the families of the victims of the tragic building collapse, urging relevant authorities to work closely with professional bodies to put a stop to such incidents.

Buhari, however, commended the first responders for their courage and responsiveness.

“The frequency of building collapses in the country has become increasingly embarrassing, the relevant state authorities must work closely with professional bodies to put a halt to these unfortunate but preventable incidents,” the President stated in his message.

He wished the injured victims a speedy recovery and prayed for success in the ongoing rescue operations at the site.

Meanwhile, two additional bodies of tenants have been recovered by emergency search and rescue officials under the rubble of the three-storey building, increasing the death toll from eight to 10.

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A breakdown of the deceased statistics after the emergency officials completed their search and rescue operation, showed that six male bodies were recovered while four females were pronounced dead.

Also, another occupant of the building has been brought out under the rubble by the team on Monday, increasing number of people that escaped death after the building caved in from 23 to 24.

Of the 24 survivors, two were said to have suffered severe injuries and were currently on admission at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, where medical experts were battling to ensure they survive.

The building at 24 Ibadan Street, off Herbert Macaulay Way, Ebute-Meta, collapsed at about 11 pm, when many of the occupants had returned to their various apartments in preparation for the Eid-el-Fitri celebration.

The Director, Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service, Adeseye Margaret, disclosed the statistics on Monday during an interview with pressmen at the scene of the disaster, which occurred barely 24 hours after.

Meanwhile, the landlord’s son, in whose care the collapsed three-storey building in Ebute-Meta was entrusted, said that he gave the occupants of the building a notice to quit when the building became so distressed and not habitable.

The owner’s son, who did not want his name in print, narrated that all efforts to evict the occupants before it caved in proved abortive, as the tenants turned down all his suggestions.

Addressing newsmen, the caretaker said that he was living in the building with other occupants when he noticed signs of distress and that none of them heeded his warning.

He said that the notice to quit was eventually handed over to the occupants but they failed to comply and that he left the building with his family to avoid the disaster.

The caretaker said that he had not collected rental fees from the tenants for a long time, as he expected them to pack out but they did not, even after threatening them with law enforcement agencies.

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