Search for survivors ends a day after Lagos building collapse

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As rescue operations continue on the scene of the collapse, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode visited the scene of a three-storey building which collapsed in Ita Faaji area of Lagos Island, where he commiserated with families of victims who lost their lives, most of whom are children.

He added that casualty figures were not yet available.

The commissioner said in last year's briefing, the Ministry announced the embargo on the development of Petrol Filling Stations (PFS) in the State so as to take inventory and review requirements geared towards safety of lives and property, and orderly development.

In 2014, a church in Lagos collapsed, killing more than 100 people.

School bags, toys and clothes could be seen among the piles of rubble as a bulldozer tried to clear a path through some of the wreckage to help the rescue efforts.

Other persons reported dead as at 8pm included the proprietor of a school in the building, Ohen Nursery and Primary School, about 12 pupils and some other occupants of the building.

Another local resident, Zion Munachi, also confirmed the name and the number of pupils.

In the crowd's midst stood ambulances, fire trucks and a fork lift.

A worker at the Massey Children Hospital, who spoke with NAN on condition of anonymity, said four out of those brought in died few minutes after.

Lagos Island is the historic heart of the metropolis, which is home to an estimated 20 million people, and also home to its central business district.

Building collapses are not uncommon in the country where the administration is lenient in its enforcement of rules.

He, however, assuring that going forward, structurally defective buildings would be demolished. Engineers responsible for the construction are now on trial for manslaughter. In 2016, more than 100 people were killed when a church came down in southeastern Nigeria.

The governor said the collapsed building was a residential house with the school operating illegally.

"While we commiserate with the government and people of Lagos state over the sad incident, the party is anxious that the frequency of this building collapse and its attendant human casualties has become abnormal".

Many locals said that the building, which was in an advanced state of disrepair, had been "earmarked" for demolition by the authorities in Lagos state. These buildings are not safe.

Materials are often sub-standard and there is weak enforcement of regulations, correspondents say. Some put the age of the building at more than 30 years and had been in a state of disrepair.

"Residents, who are the end-users have vital roles to play in curbing building collapse; they are in a better position to detect early illegal, abandoned and substandard constructions", he said.