A high-rise building in Ikoyi, a highbrow part of Lagos, on Monday collapsed with many feared trapped under the rubble.
The number of persons trapped is yet unconfirmed but workers and neighbours scrambled to dig people out of the rubble of the collapsed building, according to reports.
At least four persons have been rescued from the rubble, according to a Channels Television reporter at the scene.
Ibrahim Farinloye, Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), while speaking with newsmen at the scene, confirmed that four lifeless bodies have been recovered and moved to a morgue owned by the state government.
It was also gathered that four persons have been rescued and are currently being treated by the medical team of the Lagos State General Hospital.
The Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Obafemi Hamzat, has also been sighted at the scene.
Officials of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) said they were trying to deploy the military for crowd control as apprehensive sympathizers insisted there are many people trapped inside the building.
“The Agency has activated its emergency response plan to the scene. Search and Rescue operations are ongoing,” LASEMA said in a statement.
“The Hon. Commissioner for Special Duties & Intergovernmental Relations, it’s counterpart, Hon. Comm for Physical Planning and DG LASEMA are fully on ground.
“All first responders are at the scene while the heavy-duty equipment and life detection equipment have been dispatched.”
Ikoyi building that collapsed was sealed by Governor Sanwo-Olu a year ago to “prevent calamity”
The multi-storey building that collapsed today at Musikiu Junction by Gerard Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, was sealed by the State government last year to “prevent calamity”.
Unfortunately, it appears the building was later unsealed and construction continued until it collapsed today, November 1, at about 1:30 pm.
In July 2020, it was reported that Sanwo-Olu had sealed the Gerard, Ikoyi high-rise.
At the time, a source was quoted as saying that the State Government took the action to seal the building in order to ensure that what happened with Lekki Gardens Estate when its on-going six-storey building collapsed on March 8, 2016 would not be witnessed again in the state.
The source said: “It is unheard of that the owners of the Ikoyi project in question would embark on such a capital intensive project without obtaining required approvals for a project as massive as that.
“Gone are the days of negligence on the part of the government when people flout the law. Sealing up the project is law taking its due course.
“The owners of this project have shown themselves to be defiant and obstinate, in that the state ministry of Land and Physical Planning had been calling on them to without paying attention to what the ministry had been calling their attention to.
“It does not benefit the state to stop economically viable projects like the project on Gerrard Road in Ikoyi, but the responsibility falls on the government that all rules and regulations guiding such buildings are strictly adhered to.
“What the government has done is to halt further construction with a view to assessing and evaluating the extent to which the builders had adhered to the building code. The state will take it up from there.
“The government will not fold its arm and watch people behave recklessly without order and accountability. We are talking about people’s lives here. The state will no longer tolerate such attitude from anybody no matter how highly placed they may be.”