Chaotic scene in Lagos after building housing primary school collapses

World Today

Chaotic scene in Lagos after building housing primary school collapses

Rescue workers in Nigeria’s capital were expected to work into the night to try and rescue anyone else alive in the rubble of a collapsed building. 

By nightfall, a rescue official confirmed at least 38 people were pulled from the twisted metal and concrete alive, while another eight bodies were found.

CGTN’s Deji Badmus reports from Lagos.

Large crowds have hindered the rescue operation.

It’s a very difficult rescue operation. Difficult in the sense that accessing the area where the collapse occurred is a huge challenge. Rescuers are doing everything possible, no matter how crude, to try and get people out of the debris. Somehow they are succeeding.

Olakunle Lasisi of the Nigeria Red Cross explained that getting hard casualty figures is difficult, as the situation is constantly changing.

“What we can get is just an estimate because from our own end, we got information that about eight people were moved out confirmed dead already and we have thirty-seven taken alive to the hospital.”

The numbers are likely to go up as the rescuers dig and cut through the rubble.

It’s not known how many people were in the four-story building when it came down. According to one media report, Lagos officials said the building had been listed for demolition.

A young man whose family owns the building said some of the school students were not around when the incident happened.

“Some of them like their seniors went out for sports training and fitness. Some of them went for excursion so I can’t say the total number but let me say their total number should be like minimum of sixty to eighty. But I can’t say how many were left inside when others went out.”

Most of the victims were taken to the area’s main hospital. Those with more serious conditions were transferred to other facilities for special treatment.

“We will try our best as a government to deal with the casualties,” said Lagos State Commissioner of Health, Jide Idris. “The ones we can save we will save. It’s also a good lesson again; we shouldn’t assume that this kind of thing will not happen again; we just need to be more and more prepared. The cause will be handled by the appropriate agency of government.”