PASTOR WARNED SITE WORKERS TO LEAVE COLLAPSED BUILDING, SAY TRADERS

Five days after a building collapsed at Isopakodowo Market, popularly known as Kayero, in Oshodi, Lagos on Monday, survivors are still thanking their stars. Many of them said that it was a miracle they escaped death. However, traders said that if the site workers had heeded the advice of a pastor, perhaps, nobody would have died in the accident.

One of the survivors, Idris Kadiri from Osun State, said: 'I can't explain how everything happened because I was under it when it collapsed. How I miraculously escaped is the handiwork of God. We were many working on the site when it happened, but I can't state the exact number. All I know is that four persons died, while five were rescued. When I was pulled out of the wreckage, I was taken to the hospital.'

In a similar development, Isiaka Babarinde and Akeem claimed ignorance of how the building collapsed. They could not also say the number of workers on site when the incident happened.

Saturday Sun gathered, however, that the casualty would have been minimal if the workers had listened to the admonition of a pastor, who visited the site earlier in the day. According to a trader, the pastor told the worker to take the day off, after he prayed with them.

The trader said: 'A man of God came to the site on Monday before the building collapsed. He prayed with the workers and warned them not to work that day. He advised them to go home and take the day off. Some heeded the advice and went home. But others who waved it off are buried in the rubbles.'

Saturday Sun sources revealed that casualties were taken to three hospitals. Rashidi Isiaka and one other victim were treated for minor injuries at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja and discharged. According to a doctor, who refused to give her name, one of them was supposed to have done x-ray but could not because of his inability to pay for it.

Two of the victims were in critical condition at the Accident and Emergency Hospital, A&E, at the Lagos Toll Gate, near Oregun. Three other victims: Tolulope Akanbi (20), Jide Babarinde (18) and Kabiru Akeem (26) were admitted at Di-Imose Conval Health Centre, Oshodi Road, Lagos and were responding to treatment when Saturday Su n visited.

According to the Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. Dennis Imose, five of the victims were actually rushed to his hospital. According to him, he had to reject the other two owing the space problem.

Dr. Imose said: ' Five patients were brought in here unconscious and they said there was a collapsed building somewhere. But I don't know where the building collapsed. I had to reject two of them because of space. Thank God I have been able to revive the other three. The most serious one is Akeem, because of his head injury and sprain of the shoulder. Another one had inflammation of the vertebrae column. But there was no fracture. I had to commence treatment because of the urgency involved. Right now, they are all responding to treatment.

'One of them, Babarinde would be discharged on Wednesday because he is already stable. Others would be put under close observation. Generally, they are getting all better.'

On what could have been responsible for the collapse building, Chairman, Society of Engineers, Steven Olufemi Kehinde said: 'It is a little bit difficult to say at this point. But for the physical examination, we have taken sample of the collapsed materials, such as the concrete, the block and sample of the iron bar so that we can take it to the laboratory for analysis and see if the materials were good enough. So, until our findings, it is difficult to say what exactly happened.'

The chairman of the Lagos State Chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Building, Moroof Adeniran Abass, said until the materials for the building have been tested, he would not say anything. He lamented the absence of the contractor on ground, adding that it would have been an opportunity for him to clear air on grey areas concerning the building. He advised people to always patronize professionals instead of quacks.

The collapsed building, belongs to the Lagos State government. No fewer than three people died, while several others were injured. It was designed for plank market and was contracted out to Provida investment and Architect, Design Consultant and Builder. The Lagos State Ministry of Works and Infrastructure was the supervising consultant.

Based on the inscription on the signboard at the site, the state government gave the contractor a four-month ultimatum to complete the job. It was still under construction when it caved in at about 9 am on Monday, Many people, mostly workers on the site, were trapped. No fewer than 13 people were pulled out of the rubbles. Three were confirmed dead, while the other 10 survivors were taken to different hospitals for medical treatment.

Some of those trapped in the building is a 22 years old Sheriff and a woman with her baby. The woman learnt later that her baby was dead. The other woman is a bread seller who had gone to the site for business.

But nobody has been able to give accurate figure of those in the debris. However, rescue operation is still going on. It is likely that there are still some victims under the debris.



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