Africa

Nigeria: Several dead after high-rise collapses in Lagos

Published : November 02, 2021 17:34 IST

Emergency personnel stands by the debris of the collapsed building in Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria on November 1, 2021. Photo: REUTERS/Nneka Chile

A 21-story building under construction in the Nigerian metropolis has collapsed, burying an unknown number of workers.

A 21-story high-rise building has collapsed in the Nigerian city of Lagos, burying an unknown number of workers. At least six people have been confirmed dead but with over 100 people feared missing, the death toll is expected to rise.

Emergency services crews and locals in the upscale residential and business district of Ikoyi are currently at the scene trying to free workers trapped under the rubble of the luxury apartment building, which has been under construction for the past two years. "It is a 25-story [sic] building still under construction. Many workers are trapped under the rubble. We are trying to rescue them," according to Femi Oke-Osanyintolu, an official with Lagos State Emergency Management Agency. "We cannot say at this moment how many are dead. The rescue operation is ongoing."

"All first responders are at the scene while the heavy-duty equipment and life detection equipment have been dispatched," said agency officials. So far, at least three people have been rescued, with one telling a local TV station that about 50 workers were in the building at the time of the accident. Other workers at the site say that as many as 100 people were in the structure when it collapsed.

Anger

Officials were greeted by angry residents when they arrived on the scene some three hours after the collapse occurred. Soldiers were deployed to the scene to control the situation. Authorities say it is as yet unclear what caused the collapse, though such tragedies are not uncommon in Lagos, where building regulation and safety enforcement are lax. With over 20 million residents, Lagos is the most populous city in Africa, and Nigeria it's most populous country.

The collapsed structure was part of a three-towered development touted by real estate mogul Femi Osibona, owner of Fourscore Homes, as a "bold, beautiful lifestyle statement." The project's website has been shut down. In February 2020, structural engineering company Prowess Engineering Ltd., formally submitted its withdrawal from the project citing concerns over how it was being executed as well as with the quality of concrete being used.

js/sms, jsi (AFP, Reuters)

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