Families keep vigil at hospital as rescue at Nigerian school collapse ends

16 March, 2019, 01:16 | Author: Emmett Rice
  • Many children feared dead, trapped as school building collapses in Nigeria (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Government officials from Standard Organisation of Nigeria examine materials used in constructing the building that collapsed in Lagos, Nigeria, Thursday March 14, 2019. "Most of the buildings in central Lagos are old and can not pass the structural integrity test", he told AFP.

Across Lagos Island buildings deemed to be unsafe were surrounded by tape and demolition work was under way, forcing dozens of people to find elsewhere to live.

Authorities in Nigeria say 20 people are confirmed dead in the school building that collapsed on Wednesday, and a lot of them are children.

The building, which housed a primary school and nursery, came down without warning in the teeming Lagos Island area at mid-morning on Wednesday.

RESCUERS combing a collapsed school building for survivors yesterday called off their search.

"About 15 were still in hospital in a stable condition", he said.

"Like we have said, we have been carrying out a lot of integrity tests on the buildings in this neighborhood and as you can see, some of them have been marked for demolition but we get resistance from landlords but we must continue to save lives and we would intensify our efforts to see that those have failed our integrity test, we would ensure that they are quickly evacuated and we bring the structures down", he said. The other was pulled out alive, he said.

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Lagos Governor Akinwuni Ambode, who visited the site hours after the building collapsed, said the school had been set up illegally and buildings in the area had been undergoing structural testing prior to the accident.

Locals, including a relative of a child who was killed, said there had been a number of building collapses in the area over the last few years. "If they are doing this they should help us".

Lagos, which has a population of 20 million people, is made up of a collection of islands.

Building collapses are tragically common in Nigeria, where building regulations are routinely flouted.

It is characterised by its Afro-Brazilian architecture, a style brought over by thousands of freed slaves who headed back home after decades working the plantations in Brazil.

An inquiry found extra floors had been added without planning permission. In 2016, at least 60 people were killed when the roof collapsed at a church in Uyo, the capital of Akwa Ibom state, in the south. These buildings are not safe.

In one, 116 people were killed, a lot of them South Africans, when a guesthouse collapsed at the Lagos church complex of celebrity televangelist TB Joshua.

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