Lagos state begins demolition of distressed buildings

The Lagos State Government on Friday began the demolition of 180 distressed buildings on Lagos Island.

The demolition is coming on the heels of Wednesday building collapse on Massey Street, Ita Faaji, Lagos Island, which killed many pupils and injured others.

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According to the General Manager of the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), Lekan Shodeinde, 20 would be demolished on Friday.

The agency’s task force began with the demolition of a three-storey building on 60A Freeman Street, Epetedo,  around 9:50 am.

The agency said the property owners had been served several notices dating back to 2013.

Concise News understands that a three-storey building at 60 Freeman Street was being demolished as at 10 am on Friday.

Recall that a resident of the area, identified simply as Iya Segun, said the building collapsed as a result of its dilapidated state, alleging that government officials responsible for inspecting and certifying buildings for habitation had always turned a blind eye after being bribed by the owners.

The son of the owner of the building, Erinoluwa Akinmoladun, said the house was under the management of a developer, whom he identified only as Giwa.

He said the construction of the building was completed in 2010 by the developer, who was supposed to manage it for 10 years.

Erinoluwa, who was at the scene assisting rescue workers, added that his father had been rescued, but was not sure if all his siblings had been pulled out from the debris.

At the Lagos Island General Hospital, no fewer than four pupils were brought in dead and 42 names were made available by the management as those rescued and responding to treatment.

A mother of three identified simply as Iya Shukura, whose children attend the school, said two were in critical conditions, while her first daughter was still trapped.

A man, Yekini Ayoola, said his five-year-old grandson, Fawaz, was still trapped in the rubble of the building.

The father of a survivor, Tony Ikueze, said his eight-year-old daughter, Chiamaka, had gone to the school on her own.

“She is my last born. She went on her own to the school this morning, because it is not far from where we live. I was in the bathroom and saw the building collapse when I looked through the window. At first, I thought it was a bomb blast. I thank God that my daughter survived it,” Ikueze said.

At the scene, something regarded as miraculous happened. An 11-year-old pupil, Taofeekat Rasheed, was about to be wheeled to the morgue and her family insisted she should be handed over to them for burial according to Islamic rites, but she suddenly showed signs of life as she opened her eyes faintly.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation was carried out on her and she was immediately taken to the emergency room.

It was gathered that due to pressure on the Lagos Island General Hospital, many victims were being referred to the Massey Children Hospital and the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi Araba.