14 Mar 2019

Three storey-building housing primary school collapes in Lagos

9:47 am on 14 March 2019

[xh] Some casualties in Nigeria building collapse: Lagos governor

Some people were killed in the collapse of a three-storey building which housed a primary school, the governor of Lagos state said.

Emergency personnel at the site of a school building which collapsed in Lagos on March 13, 2019.

Emergency personnel at the site of the collapsed building in Lagos Photo: AFP

The school, which was on the top floor of the three-storey building in Ita Faji on Lagos Island, had more than 100 pupils. Parents and rescuers rushed to the site to search for survivors.

Lagos governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos state about 25 people were found but some had died. He did not say how many.

Initial reports had said eight children had died.

A Reuters reporter at the scene saw a boy of 10 being pulled out covered in dust but with no visible injuries. A crowd erupted into cheers as another child was pulled from the wreckage.

Workers on top of the rubble shovelled debris away as thousands of people swarmed around the rescue site: dozens watching from rooftops and hundreds more packed into the surrounding streets.

"It is believed that many people including children are currently trapped in the building," said Ibrahmi Farinloye, a spokesperson for the National Emergency Management Agency's southwest region.

He added that casualty figures were not yet available.

The school was on the third floor of the three-storey building, and the collapse happened around 10am local time, as classes were under way.

It's not known how many people lived in the apartments that made up the rest of the complex.

At the site, many people were shouting and screaming. A fight almost broke out as anger at the collapse boiled over.

In the crowd's midst stood ambulances, fire trucks and a forklift. Workers from the Red Cross and police were on hand.

The building was in the Ita-faji area of Lagos Island, the original heart of the lagoon city before it expanded onto the mainland.

In September 2014, 116 people died when a six-storey building collapsed in Lagos during a service given by a celebrity televangelist. And in 2016, more than 100 people died when the roof of a church in Uyo, in the south of Nigeria, caved in.

Building materials are often sub-standard and the enforcement of regulations in Nigeria is weak.

- Reuters / BBC

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs