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Thieves Raid Apartment Of Building Collapse Victims As Casualties Struggle For Life In Hospital

While parents of the three children trapped in last Sunday building collapse at No. 30, Osasa Avenue, Bariga, Lagos, battled with the injuries their kids sustained, thieves burgled apartments in the building and went away with valuables.

The incident, City Round learnt, has further worsened the situation of the displaced couple, Oluwagbemiga and Oluwatoyin Yakubu, who had been passing nights on the corridors of a private hospital on Ogo-Oluwa Street, Bariga, where their injured children were admitted.
The siblings – Taiwo, Kehinde, 10, and Idowu, seven – were playing Ludo on the second floor of the two-storey building around 9 pm when the balcony partially collapsed.

They were trapped in the rubble for minutes before they were rescued and rushed to the hospital.

It was learnt that about 30 residents were displaced.

While some residents claimed that the collapse was as a result of vibration from the earthmover used for road construction, which had weakened the foundation of the building, others maintained that the house had aged and become defective.

In an emotion-laden voice, Oluwagbemiga, a barber, lamented the burden of the incident on the family, adding that they had no means of renting another apartment.

He said, “I am a barber on Solanke Street, Akoka. Immediately a friend told me about the incident on the phone, I jumped out of my shop. A motorcyclist knocked me down, but I didn’t feel it. I ran home.

“I was told that my children had been taken to the hospital. By the time I got there, they were foaming from their mouths. I met them in critical condition. I thank God they are alive.

“I have been running around to get N30, 000 so that they can be discharged from the hospital. While my wife and I were looking after them at the hospital, thieves went to our apartment on Monday night and stole almost all our property, including clothes and the only N15, 000 we had at home. They also burgled other apartments in the building because it had been deserted.

“We are left with the only clothes on us. The most worrisome thing is that we have nowhere to go. We have been sleeping around the hospital.”

His wife, Oluwatoyin, a tailor, said she went to get some jobs at her brother’s house on the day the building collapsed.

She said, “I went to see one of my brothers who wanted to introduce some customers to me. I was there when my phone started ringing repeatedly. I was asked to come home immediately. When I got to the hospital, I saw my children covered with blood. Their heads had swollen.

“We don’t know where to go to. We are still looking for where to sleep at night. The N15, 000 I kept in my room was stolen.”

Our correspondent, who visited the hospital on Tuesday, observed that Kehinde was bandaged on the head and left hand while Taiye had plasters on the right hand.

Taiye, a primary five pupil, told City Round that she thought she would never see her parents again.

She said they were busy with the game when the balcony suddenly gave way and they fell from the second floor.

She recalled, “Kehinde and Idowu were playing ludo and I was watching them. Something suddenly fell on my head. I was shouting help, help. Blocks fell on my head. I thought I would not see mummy and daddy again.”

But her twin sister thought otherwise. Kehinde said she was full of hope that she would not die in the rubble.

“I was not thinking of death while I was there,” she said. “I am still feeling pains in my head and hand.” Idowu said he was fine.

It was learnt that the children had not been discharged as of Friday.

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