Building collapses in Lagos, school kids trapped, many feared dead

Leroy Wright
March 14, 2019

Tragedy struck in Lagos in the early hours of Wednesday, March 13 as a three-storey building at Itafaji area of Lagos Island housing an unnamed primary school collapsed, leaving many children feared killed and trapped.

TVCNews gathered that 12 persons have been confirmed dead and 43 rescued.

It was not immediately clear how many people were inside when the building foundered. In the crowd, a baby cried.

Elsewhere, hundreds of local residents tried to help, passing water and helmets through to dust-covered rescuers working tirelessly to sift through the rubble, some of whom appeared to be distressed.

The children were hurried to ambulances. One man pressed his hands to a passing survivor's head in blessing.

More equipment was brought in as nightfall approached.

Ibrahim Farinloye, a spokesman for Nigeria's National Emergency Management Agency, told CBS News partner network BBC News that the building came down around 10 a.m. local time.

People spray water on a child who was rescued at the site of a collapsed building containing a school in Nigeria's commercial capital of Lagos Nigeria
Rescue efforts underway after Lagos school collapse

Despite efforts to renovate the area, a large number of buildings remain abandoned or in a state of disrepair which have been taken over by families or businesses, despite being dilapidated and unsafe.

Nigeria is frequently hit by building collapses, with weak enforcement of regulations and poor construction materials often used.

The three-story building is located in the crowded Lagos Island area of the coastal megacity, which is home to more than 22 million people.

He promised a full investigation once rescue operations were concluded and vowed that those responsible would be prosecuted.

She said the children initially did not want to go to school, but were urged to do so. I want to quickly let Lagosians know that this is quite an unfortunate incident.

Ambode, the state governor, said his deputy was visiting hospitals and that the government would cover the hospital bills of survivors.

Ambode, who got to the scene of the incident at about 2:42pm, described the incident as unfortunate, however, appealing to residents to allow rescue operators the space to carry out their operations without any hindrance, so as to rescue more children still trapped under the rubbles.

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