Woman loses 5 children in Lagos school building collapse

Many children feared dead, trapped as school building collapses in Nigeria (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

A rescue team removing victims from the collapsed building on Wednesday.

People spray water on a child who was rescued at the site of a collapsed building containing a school in Nigeria's commercial capital of Lagos, Nigeria, on March 13, 2019.

Residents, firefighters and other emergency services workers picked through the rubble to find those trapped. Others includes National Emergency Management Agency, Nigeria Police Force, Rapid Response Squad, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.

"We have moved the debris from the ground to have a clear picture to make sure there are no people under the building".

Governor Ambode also said a full-scale investigation would be carried out immediately rescue operations are concluded, and vowed that those found culpable would be severely dealt with in accordance with the relevant laws. Final casualty figures were still being compiled and would be announced later, he said.

Outside the hospital where people taken out of the building were taken for treatment, anxious relatives sobbed and ran towards ambulances as they arrived, hoping their loved ones were inside.

Lagos state Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode said the building, which had been marked for demolition, was classified as residential and the school was operating illegally on the top two floors.

"We cleared it out to see if anyone was still buried below this rubble".

Adeniyi Afolabi, a shopworker who lived nearby, gave the name of the school as the Ohen Nursery and Primary, and said there were 144 pupils in attendance on Wednesday.

A worker at the Massey Children Hospital, who spoke with NAN on condition of anonymity, said four out of those brought in died few minutes after.

Lagos, which has a population of 20 million people and serves as Nigeria's economic capital, is made up of a collection of islands. A five-story building in Lagos collapsed that year as well, killing at least 30 people. Engineers responsible for the construction are now on trial for manslaughter. And in 2016, more than 100 people died when the roof of a church in Uyo, in the south of Nigeria, caved in.

Building collapses are frequent in Nigeria.

"These houses are not safe".

"A lot the buildings here are not safe".

"There are over 1,000 distressed other buildings of this nature in Lagos, which, if nothing is done to demolish them, they will still collapse, resulting to more calamities in the state", said Kunle Awobodu of the Building Collapse Prevention Guild.

"They were built many years ago with sub-standard materials and without the involvement of qualified building engineers".

It questioned why the state has remained a hub for substandard buildings and collapse and blamed corruption for poor dispensation of justice in past cases.The Pioneer president of the Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG), Mr. Kunle Awobodu, on his part, blamed the tragedy on the use of non-professionals in construction.

"The government should be strict in enforcing its building codes and regulations", he added.

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