Lagos, Nigeria: 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 is 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.
Atiku, Saraki Condole With Victims’ Families
A former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, and the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, have commiserated with the families of the victims of a building collapse in Lagos State.
Both men took to Twitter on Wednesday to sympathise with the victims’ families following the incident which occurred at the Ita Faji area of Lagos Island.
They wished the injured quick recovery and called on the government to ensure that all resources were deployed to rescue other victims trapped under the rubble.
At least nine people were confirmed dead and several others injured after the collapse of the building said to have been erected about 30 years ago.
Emergency officials, including men of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), and the police among others, had raced to the scene shortly after the incident for rescue operations.
The officials removed no fewer than 24 victims including school children trapped under the rubble while efforts were ongoing to save others.