THE death toll from the collapse of a 21-storey building in the city of Lagos, Nigeria’s economic hub, Monday rose to 15 as more dead bodies have been recovered, with scores of people remaining unaccounted for, an emergency management official said.
In an update statement on Tuesday afternoon, Ibrahim Farinloye, the coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in the Lagos state, said so far 15 dead bodies have been recovered and nine people have been rescued alive following the collapse of the 21-story building under construction in the Ikoyi area of the Lagos city Monday afternoon.
Farinloye said rescue operations were still underway and an investigation into the cause of the collapse is ongoing.
Residents living in the area told Xinhua earlier Tuesday the building was under construction for more than one year and more than 50 people, mostly construction workers, were trapped under the rubble.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari directed in a statement Tuesday authorities in the Lagos state to step up efforts in rescue operations.
‘I commiserate with all the families who have lost loved ones in the collapsed building in Lagos. This is a sad period for the people and government of the Lagos state, and we share in the sadness,’ Buhari said.
The Nigerian leader also called on emergency institutions, including hospitals, to provide all the support to safeguard the lives of the rescued.
Building collapses often occur in Nigeria, as some property owners and developers do not adhere strictly to planning and building laws and regulations. In most cases, heavy loads are placed on the building and substandard materials are often used in construction.