Fears for children caught in Nigerian school building collapse

Erika Holt
March 14, 2019

Tragedy struck, as the three storey building housing a school collapsed, killing and trapping many.

The cause of the collapse was yet to be ascertained but The Nation gathered emergency responders have moved to the scene and were evacuating trapped victims.

"Dozens of children were trapped inside", said Adesina Tiamiyu, head of Lagos state emergency management agency (SEMA), which is supervising the rescue operation.

The rescue operations are however, suffering hitches, as rescuers are finding it hard to gain access into the building with their equipments.

Little information is available, but images on social media show emergency teams at the scene, with a child being rescued and carried away through a crowd of people.

Lagos state Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode said buildings in the neighbourhood, Ita Faji, should have undergone integrity tests but landlords resisted. Members of the crowd held up an oxygen mask to the face of a young girl pulled from the rubble. The state government will take care of the hospital bills. "Our response units are already here; we are getting additional cranes to be able to go deeper than where we are now to rescue more lives", the governor said.

Building collapses in Lagos, school kids trapped, many feared dead
Rescue efforts underway after Lagos school collapse

Hundreds of people stood in narrow streets and on rooftops of rusted, corrugated metal, watching rescue efforts. A single yellow excavator scooped at the ruins.

With emotions high, a number of shirtless men jumped in to offer assistance, hacksaws and mallets in hand.

In December 2016, at least 60 people were killed by the collapse of a church roof in the city of Uyo, east of the country.

In September 2014, 116 people, 84 of them South Africans, died when a six-storey building collapsed as a celebrity televangelist was preaching.

Building collapses are frequent in Nigeria, where regulations are poorly enforced and construction materials often substandard.

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