By Akinwande Soji-Ojo
The National Emergency Management Agency( NEMA) has confirmed the death of five persons as a three-storey building caved in on Ibadan Street, in the Ebute Metta area of Lagos State on Sunday night.
The occupants were said to be in their various apartments when the building suddenly collapsed and trapped some of them.
No fewer than 23 persons including children were also said to have been rescued alive.
Immediately, emergency agencies were alerted as some residents resorted to self-help by searching the rubble to rescue the trapped victims.
Emergency agencies including NEMA, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Lagos State Fire and Rescue Services, among others rushed to the scene and commenced a search and rescue operation for the victims.
The acting coordinator, NEMA, Ibrahim Farinloye, in a statement on Monday, confirmed the death of four occupants, adding that the collapsed structure had been marked for demolition.
“Another three-storey building, on Lagos Street, about 200 metres away from the current scene has shown signs of distress with part throwing pebbles and falling off.
“The building had also been marked as distressed but the occupants were deviant.
However, the building has been re-sealed and occupants evacuated by officers of Lagos State Buildings Control Agency.
“Four deaths including two male and two female. 23 people have been rescued alive including seven children and 16 adults. Another young man, Tahin, has just been recovered, making five deaths,” he said.
The Permanent Secretary, LASEMA, Dr Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, in a statement late Sunday, had said some of the injured victims were rushed to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) for urgent treatment.
“On arrival at the incident scene, an old three-storey building comprising rooms and parlour was discovered to have collapsed.
“Further information gathered revealed that the incident occurred around 10.56pm with an undetermined number of people trapped.
“A search and rescue operation is ongoing. 20 rescued alive and out of the victims rescued, two sustained severe injuries and have been taken to LASUTH for further treatment,” the Permanent Secretary said.