Lagos Building Collapse: Nine Things We Can Confirm

Wednesday, March 13 was a sad day in Lagos as a three-storey building housing a primary school collapsed in the Ita-Faji area of the state. Here are some key pieces of information regarding the incident so far:

1. Casualty figures 

A pregnant woman, the proprietor of the Nursery/Primary school and 19 others, including no fewer than 12 pupils died in the collapsed building at Massey Street, Itafaji on Lagos Island on Wednesday, March 13, witnesses and hospital sources said. However, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), said eight persons died, while 34 others were rescued in the wreckage so far.
2. Rescue operations 

Following the collapse, the federal government sent a delegation of the National Emergency Management Agency NEMA (NEMA), led by Air Commodore Akugbe Iyamu, to the scene of the incident to ascertain the level of damage. Iyamu said NEMA would collaborate with the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) to provide relief materials for the victims as rescue operations come to an end.

3. Buhari charges the state government to ensure the incident does not recur 

Shortly after the incident, President Muhammadu Buhari sent his condolences to the families of the victims of the incident and charged the state government “to do all that is needful, so that these tragic developments do not recur”.

4. Intervention by the Nigerian Red Cross 

The Nigerian Red Cross (NRC) has appealed for blood donations for victims of the collapsed building on Lagos Island.

5. Treatment of the survivors 

Those rescued from under the rubble were taken to the Island General Hospital on Broad Street in Marina to receive treatment. Also about 17 of the rescued students and occupants of the building were taken to Massey Children Hospital, very close to the scene.

6. Collapsed school building marked for demolition 

The building at 63 Massey Street, it was learnt, had been marked for demolition by officials of the Lagos State Building Control Agency. However, the occupants of the building reportedly frustrated the demolition until the building eventually caved in.

7. School proprietress told to vacate the building Miss Bukola Salami, a former staff teacher in the school who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) said the proprietress of the school had been told to vacate the building but she balked on account that she had no money to rent another apartment. “It was because of the situation of the building that forced me to resign from the school in December, because I don’t want to risk my life. It is unfortunate that such incident happened. It looks like a dream to me," she said.

8. Demolition of marked buildings 

Shortly after the building caved in, Governor Ambode visited the scene of the incident, vowing to make sure all the buildings that have failed integrity test in the area are demolished. In the early hours of Friday, March 15, the Lagos state began the demolition of the marked buildings on Freeman street at the Ita Faji area of Lagos Island.

9. Victims’ families protest request for payment before treatment 

Families of survivors protested against the Lagos Island General hospital for reportedly demanding for nothing less than N150,000 before commencing comprehensive treatment of the survivors. One of the protesters, a woman in her late forties who spoke in Yoruba, said the government should be sensitive to the plight of parents who are battling to save their last surviving child from the disaster.

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