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Ikoyi Building Collapse: Death toll rises to 20

Rescue officials have recovered 20 bodies buried under the rubble after a 21-storey building collapsed on Monday in the Ikoyi part of Lagos, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has said.

Newslead had reported the incident which occurred on Monday afternoon along Wesley Road in the commercial hub of the nation.

While four persons were killed and five others rescued as of Monday night, the death toll and number of survivors rose on Tuesday as rescue efforts continued through the night.

The search is expected to continue into Wednesday as more people are still believed to be trapped beneath the ruins.

Relatives of some of the still-trapped people were furious after emergency workers took a break in the early hours of Tuesday. “What kind of country is this,” one man bellowed.

The Deputy Governor of Lagos, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, who visited the site amid tight security, explained that the premise of the collapsed building has been sealed by the government agency in charge of testing, for more investigation into the integrity of the structure.

Emergency workers on a rescue operation at the site of the collapsed building in Ikoyi, Lagos on November 1, 2021.

Emergency workers have intensified rescue operations as more people are believed to be trapped under the rubble.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Nigerian Institute of Architects, Lagos State Chapter, David Majekodunmi, also visited the site of the building collapse.

He lamented that unfortunate incidents such as this should not have happened if authorities had done what was expected of them.

“My first impression is that the country is in a mess. We are in a mess because if we have done what we are supposed to do, either on the private or government side, we wouldn’t be having this kind of incident.

“Like it’s said by (Femi) Falana, the renowned lawyer, about six or seven weeks precisely where we have all the allied professionals in the construction industry together, he said ‘we should stop talking about building collapse; go and search yourselves, what is your regulatory building doing? Your regulatory body is supposed to regulate things like this,” said Majekodunmi.

He added, “Looking at this, you can’t determine what is actually the cause of the collapse. In a nutshell, we are standing in front of the signage which is supposed to be a prerequisite at a site.

“You cannot see the name of the architect, the structural engineer, and other consultants. But there is so much going on on the platform where the number written on all these consultants happens to be the developer.

“I will tell you just a little history because the government has a big fault for this. In 1986, a National Building Code was drafted by all the professional bodies in the construction industry – seven of them. This National Building Code was not signed until 20 years after it was drafted.”

Lagos state Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu indefinitely suspended the General Manager of the Lagos Building Control Agency for his part in the tragic incident. He also set up a panel to investigate the leading causes of the collapse.

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