Wednesday, 3 November 2021

Death Toll In Collapsed 21-Storey Building In Lagos Rises To 20

Twenty persons by Tuesday were brought out dead from the rubble of the collapsed 21-storey building under construction on Gerrard Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, ac­cording to National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

Ten bodies were removed from the rubble after an over­night search and rescue oper­ation by a combined team of Lagos State Emergency Man­agement Agency (LASEMA) and National Emergency Man­agement Agency (NEMA), with the support of construction gi­ants, Julius Berger, and China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC).

The other ten were pulled out in the continued search and rescue operation before on Tuesday.

According to Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, who was at the scene on Tuesday, actual number of people trapped in the collapsed uncompleted structure re­mains unknown.

Three of the nine persons evacuated alive have been dis­charged from the hospital. The victims were being treated at Lagos Island General Hospital in Marina.

The deputy governor said: “Our search and rescue opera­tion is ongoing to remove those possibly still trapped under the rubble. Our focus right now is to get people out alive. This morn­ing, we took out two people alive and they are responding well to treatment in the hospital.

“Totally, we have evacuated nine people alive and three of them have been discharged. We believe there could be more people trapped in the building but all our efforts are focused on rescue.”

Hamzat condemned what he called “needless gathering” of people who had nothing to do with the rescue operation at the scene, stressing that their presence was distracting those involved in the search efforts.

“What is currently happen­ing at the site of the incident is a search and rescue operation. It is not so good to have a lot of people at the site. Sometimes, the rescuers require silence to be able to hear the voices of those who may still be trapped. The operation is ongoing and we hope we will be able to res­cue more. We will not leave the site until we are able to account for everyone in the building,” Hamzat said.

Meanwhile, the Lagos State government is setting up an independent panel to probe the collapse of the 21-storey build­ing on Gerrard Road, Ikoyi.

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