Lagos, Nigeria: At least 10 people have been killed and dozens of children are feared trapped after a three-storey building containing a primary school and kindergarten collapsed in Nigeria’s commercial capital Lagos.
Emergency responders have so far rescued 40 people from the rubble, with thousands of people swarming around the site to watch, many of them angry or hysterical, with police, ambulances, Red Cross workers, fire trucks and a fork lift in their midst.
The governor of Lagos Akinwunmi Ambode confirmed “more than four dead bodies” have been recovered.
He visited the site and offered commiserations to bereaved families, but did not say how many had died.
Residents said around 100 children had attended the school, which was on the top levels of the building, and that eight had been rescued so far.
Local officials told the BBC that they believe at least eight children died in the collapse.
A Reuters reporter saw a boy of 10 being pulled from the rubble, covered in dust but with no visible injuries, and the crowd erupted into cheers as another child was pulled out.
Many locals have began their own attempts to free people from the rubble, using their bare hands to shift slabs.
“I was passing by and heard a house collapsed. I had to straight away reach people living in there to rescue those that could be rescued,” a man involved in the rescue efforts told reporters.
“At least some people have been rescued and taken to hospitals. They are mainly students as there is a school there,” he said.
A spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency’s southwest region said casualty figures were not yet available but that many people including children were believed to be trapped.
The Lagos emergency management agency said 10 people had been recovered alive since emergency responders arrived on Wednesday, and others beforehand.
Ambode said the school had been set up illegally and that buildings in the area were undergoing integrity testing.