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Building collapses in Nigeria; 100 trapped

Building collapses in Nigeria; 100 trapped
Rescuers were working frantically to free those trapped under the rubble.
Abuja, March 13 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 3/13/2019 12:06:34 PM IST

As many as 100 children and many others are feared trapped after a three-storey building, home to a primary school and kindergarten, collapsed in Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos. The governor of Lagos state said on Wednesday that some people have been killed, but official numbers have not been released. 

“We have rescued about 25 people, some already dead,” said governor Akinwunmi Ambode. 

Workers from the Red Cross and police shovelled debris away as thousands of people swarmed around the accident site, before heavy lifting equipment began to arrive.  “It is believed that many people, including children, are currently trapped in the building,” said Ibrahimi Farinloye, a spokesperson for the National Emergency Management Agency’s southwest region, adding that casualty figures were not yet available.

Residents of the area said that around 100 children attended the school, which was on the third floor of the building. The structure also contained offices and residential units. 

The school is located on the densely-populated Lagos island, where buildings are often put up without official permissions or clearances, according to Al Jazeera’s Ahmed Idris, reporting from the Nigerian capital, Abuja.

Lagos is one of the fastest growing cities in Africa, resulting in fierce competition for land. It is not clear whether the collapsed building failed to meet safety standards.  “It’s common to find schools in residential areas and in other locations that were not meant for educational institutions,” Idris said. Building collapses are frequent in Nigeria due to weak enforcement of regulations and poor construction materials often used. In 2016, more than 100 people were killed when a church came down in southeastern Nigeria.  On March 8, 2016, a five-storey building collapse in Lagos killed 30 people. In December 2016, as many as 60 people were killed when church roof collapsed in the city of Uyo.

In September 2014, 116 people were killed in Lagos when a six-storey building collapsed during a religious gathering.

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