No fewer than 18 persons died yesterday when a four-storey building collapsed on Lagos Island. Forty-one others were injured.
The incident occurred at No 14, Massey Street, Opposite Oja, Ita-Faaji.
The building, housing Ohen Private Nursery and Primary School on its third floor, caved in at about 10:20am, trapping scores of pupils.
Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Jide Idris, who confirmed the casualty figure, said many of the rescued were taken to Lagos Island General Hospital, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) and Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), among others.
The Nation learnt that the large number of casualties sparked a shortage of blood with the general hospital calling for donors.
Idris said rescue efforts will continue today.
According to Lagos State Emergency management Agency (LASEMA) General Manager Adeshina Tiamiyu, over 41 people were rescued from the rubble of the building, which had been marked for demolition since 2014.
An eyewitness, Abayomi Olaniyan, said he was among those rescuing the victims before the official rescue team came.
Olaniyan, said: “Some were rescued alive, some dead. One of the teachers still called shortly that she was on the ground floor of the collapsed building, trapped with 20 pupils.
“Something similar happened around here last year. The issue of building collapse is common here and government must do something about it. Houses will be marked and due for demolition but they will not demolish it; they will renovate it. So many houses here are weak; they are meant to be demolished but they will tell you they are renovating it; they will only paint it.”
An eyewitness, Bola Ogunyemi, said: “The pupils were already lined up from their third floor classes when the school owner noticed that the building was cracking. Before the kids could be arranged from their classes, the building had collapsed”. The school owner and some kids have been taken to the hospital.”
Some youths who are resident in the area were complaining that the rescue efforts were slow.
Since they were told to leave the scene, nobody was removed for about 30 minutes, they said at about 5p.m.
The officers and LASEMA officials, the boys said, were not doing enough.
Some of the boys were recalled to the scene.