Lagos emergency saves lives as building collapses

Luqmon Balogun, Lagos

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The Lagos State Emergency Management Agency LASEMA has prevented another disaster from happening as a two-storey building collapsed in Lagos.

An old and ill-maintained two-storey building located at 7, Rufai Street, Makinde, Ojuelegba was reportedly caved in leading to the emergency call that activated LASEMA, to mobilise manpower and equipment to the incident site in a record of 15 minutes.

Reports showed that the distressed two-storey building due to its weakened state, history of continuous neglect and lack of maintenance gave a minor warning before it cracked open.

The collapsed building recorded no injuries, nor loss of human lives in the process, the agency said.

Evidence showed that the occupants had been adamant to vacating the said building which had been collapsing gradually since October 18 this year, whilst the Lagos State Building Control Agency, LASBCA had marked and warned the residents as well as the Landlord to vacate from the building on March 25, 2015 with another notice served to the Landlord on May 21 this year.

This collapsed building which is coming on the heels of a recent collapsed three storey building at Magodo Phase 1, about 12 days ago, was additional figure to LASEMA’s data on the recent spate of collapsed buildings in the State.

Speaking on the incident, the Director-General, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, Dr Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu stated the agency has been proactive in it’s rescue operations, stressing that the property owner was earlier engaged on the building status.

“We have notified such owners of the status of their buildings severally, in 2015, LASBCA put a seal on the house, that the landlord would need to do solid material testing, he needs to maintain the building, he needs to ensure that the building is properly placed, he did not respond. In 2019 again, he was served the notice again, he did not respond until it became an emergency and we had to address it as quickly as possible. Our response was swift, prompt, effective and efficient.

“Looking at this incident holistically, we discover that the two-storey building was highly unstable and the most important thing we needed to do is that we perform reconstruction, redevelopment of that area by pulling the collapsed building to ground zero and you can see that the place is now safe,” he said.

He appealed to the residents of the State to key into the agenda of the present government which gives priority to the protection of lives and property.

According to him, “They  need to carryout proper maintenance of their property, do a proper solid material testing of their structure. While we are doing the early warning, residents of Lagos need to do the needful. I assure you that this area is safe, LASBCA, the solid material testing agency will conduct tests on all the structures here.”

The DG LASEMA affirmed that the Agency had been reinvented through appropriate training and preparedness, which he alluded to as being responsible for it’s timely arrivals and improved performance, saying the the reinforced team was to ensure better protection of lives and properties in the state.

Meanwhile, the collapsed building has since been totally brought down to ground zero under the close supervision of the DG,/CEO, LASEMA.