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Why 4-Storey Building Collapsed-Lagos Officials

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As at the time of filing this report, eight people had been confirmed dead, another 33 people injured while rescue operation was on-going at the site of the collapsed building in Idumota, an area in Lagos Island at the early hours of Wednesday.

The building located at 4, Mogaji Lane, Idumota, which was erected almost 10 years ago, had over 30 rooms and housed about 58 people including families and shop owners. About 20 people are still trapped according to eye-witness.

As at Wednesday evening, officials of the Lagos Fire and Safety Services, the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, the Lagos State Ambulance Service, LASAMBUS and youth of the area were still busy with the rescue operation.

An official of the Lagos state government, who works with the state Emergency Management Agency, explained to that the developer of the building, whose name he gave as Taofeek Eletu, a high chief in the area, did not follow the actual plan of the building.

He said Chief Eletu was given the contract to build the House about 10 years ago, "but he ended up doing what he liked with the building material. Most of the materials used for the building were substandard. The blocks used were not up to the required types that would hold the house together.

"You can even see that when you touch the building, what you feel is sand and nothing like enough cement. This man has ended up killing innocent people because he wanted to make money," he told stressing that the government would prosecute all those involved in the handling of the building.

A resident of the area, Mutiu Ayinla, who spoke about the incident, said government officials had visited the place several times and had marked the building for demolition on two different occasions. "But I think the people had always had their way, because each time the government officials come, they are bribes and they would go without carrying out what they came to do."

Ayinla blamed the incident on the greed of the government officials and asked the government to fetch such officials out and sanctioning them as required. "You can imagine how many children with good future we have lost due to the recklessness of government officials. This thing must stop," he said.

Narrating how the incident happened, a survivor, who gave his name as Stephen Egede, said he was in the bathroom after the day's job when he heard a   deafening sound and suddenly the building began to cave in while its parts started dismantling. He had to escape barely having anything to cover his nakedness.

The commuter bus driver also described it as a miracle that his wife and baby, just two month old, escaped unhurt.

While those rescued have been transferred to different hospitals in the state, the dead victims have been conveyed to the Lagos Island General Hospital mortuary

Because of the disaster, most shops around Idumota area were shut this morning. Commercial activities have been paralysed at the commercial nerve centre of the Lagos Island.