Rescue efforts intensify after Lagos building collapse

Samuel Okocha, Lagos

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About 40 pupils have been pulled out alive as rescue efforts intensify at the scene of a collapsed three-story building housing a school in Lagos.

The three-story building, at Ita Faji on Lagos Island, collapsed around 10 am, according to a rescue official from Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency.  The official said over 70 people are believed to have been trapped in the building.

Residents in the area, however, say the building accommodates more than 150 people and nearly that number may have caved in with the building.

They told Voice of Nigeria that the collapsed building contained a residential apartment on the ground floor while the top floor served as a primary school.

40 students have been rescued, according to a rescue official quoted by the BBC.  9 pupils are confirmed dead.

The number of casualty may not be immediately clear. Those pulled out were rushed to a waiting ambulance stationed to transport those rescued to a nearby health care centre.

Lagos state governments urges for calm

The Lagos State Government has assured parents and guardians of pupils of the school that rescue operations would continue to ensure the safety of the trapped pupils and staff of the collapsed school.

The Deputy Governor, Dr Idiat Adebule gave the assurance when she visited the victims at General Hospital, Marina, Lagos.

She commiserated with the families of the affected pupils and staff and urged the parents to remain calm as the government was determined to minimize the casualties.

Men and women from the Nigeria Red Cross, National Emergency Management Agency and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps are some of the emergency workers on duty at the scene of the collapsed building.

Nigeria’s President condoles with Lagos

President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed sadness over the collapsed building.

“May God grant everyone affected by this sad incident fortitude and succour,” he said, according to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina.

Omolayo.A