by Isi Esene
A three-storey building under reconstruction at #3 Anikantamo Street, Adeniji Adele, Lagos Island, caved in Thursday afternoon.
Five people escaped the collapse but a 60-year-old woman is said to have been critically injured.
The building was said to have showed signs of impending collapse but nothing concrete was done to prevent a disaster. Two buildings beside the collapsed building were also affected.
A man simply identified as Mr. Ibrahim who spoke to the Vanguard Newspapers said the incident happened around 1pm when the real estate developer in charge of the building was trying to reconstruct a pillar structure of the building which was already falling apart.
He said, “At about few minutes to 1:00 pm, the developer, Baba Lukman arrived with other bricklayer to patch one of the pillars holding the building. Immediately they started the process, I accosted them to stop the process that what is required is total construction. But they declined. While the reconstruction was still on, the building caved-in.”
Mr. Iyiola Akande, the co-ordinaator of the National Emergency Management Authourity (NEMA), South West Zone confirmed the incident saying only one woman was trapped in the building.
“Only one woman was found trapped in the building. She has since been taken to the general hospital for medical attention. We are still on ground clearing the debris, but we believe there are no casualties,” Akande said.
Residents of the area have revealed that the building, which is 10-years-old with over thirty occupants, has been in a precarious condition for quite some time saying it vibrates whenever loud music is played in the vicinity.
The Lagos State Government needs to intensify efforts at monitoring, investigating, and prosecuting fraudulent real estate businessmen and contractors who sacrifice safety on the altar of quick financial gains.