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Nigeria: At least four dead, more trapped after high-rise collapse

AFP

clock 3 min read

People walk among the rubble of a 21-story building under construction that collapsed in the Ikoyi district of Lagos, Nigeria, on November 1, 2021.
PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFPPeople walk among the rubble of a 21-story building under construction that collapsed in the Ikoyi district of Lagos, Nigeria, on November 1, 2021.

Rescue officials said many workers were caught inside the building when it crumbled

A high-rise building under construction collapsed in Nigeria's largest city Lagos on Monday, killing at least four people with dozens more feared to be trapped inside the rubble.

A yellow excavator pushed away concrete slabs to search through the wreckage of the 21-floor building in the Ikoyi district.

Rescue officials said many workers were caught inside the building when it crumbled, though they could not confirm the number of people trapped inside.

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Ibrahim Farinloye of the National Emergency Management Agency said four people were rescued so far and four bodies were recovered from the site.

Wisdom John, a bricklayer, said that he escaped with just a few cuts because he was on the ground floor when the building collapsed into a pile of concrete, its floors sandwiched together. 

"There were more than 50 working today and the manager too," he said, sitting in an ambulance getting treated. 

"We just ran out."

The Ikoyi area is one of the wealthier residential and business districts in Lagos, Nigeria's densely populated major commercial city.

Near the collapse site, soldiers kept back a crowd of onlookers watching the rescue operation.

Dozens of angry local residents gathered at the site soon after the collapse, many crying and voicing frustration over the slow pace of the rescue efforts.

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Lagos State police commissioner Hakeem Olusegun Odumosu said it was still too early to determine the cause of the collapse.

Building collapses are common in Lagos and other parts of the country due to substandard materials, negligence, and the flouting of construction regulations.

More than 100 people died when a church guesthouse crumbled in Lagos in 2014.