Nigeria’s construction site collapses kills 23

Lagos, Nigeria-The collapse of a high-rise condominium under construction in Nigeria’s most populous city has increased the death toll to 23, with two more bodies recovered Wednesday afternoon, officials said.

Nine people were rescued by Tuesday, but no new survivors were found on Wednesday. The Nigerian Red Cross Segung Akande told The Associated Press that rescue operations are ongoing, but that those trapped in the wreckage seem to have little hope.

“The chances are very few. Very, very slim,” he said when asked about what was still trapped.

Lagos Governor Babaji de Sanwool said it was unclear how long the rescue mission would last.

“The pillars that support something are not in any shape,” he said of the wreckage of the building. “Hope is lacking,” he told his family. “Hope is what we all need now.”

It is unknown how many people are still trapped in the wreckage, but it is estimated that there are about 100 construction workers on site, potentially 70 unexplained.

The 21-story luxury condominium under construction collapsed on Monday, taking hours for authorities to begin rescue operations. Authorities arrested the owner of the property, saying his building permit was only allowed for a 15-story building, according to media reports.

Epoch Times Photo
Rescue workers at the site of a collapsed 21-story apartment under construction in Lagos, Nigeria, on November 2, 2021. (Sunday’s Aramba / AP photo)

At the entrance to the building was a help desk provided with the names and photos of relatives and friends who believed they were working there when the building collapsed.

There was also a help desk for counseling and support for distraught relatives, many of whom were lined up on the roadside.

Abel Godwin traveled 722 km (448 miles) from the capital, Abuja, in search of his 18-year-old son, who was hired there.

After arriving in Lagos at 2 am, he visited a government hospital where the victims were being treated.

“They couldn’t let me know if my son was alive or dead,” he lamented.

Dozens of families have expressed anger and frustration at not knowing the fate of their relatives.

The Lagos Government has set up an independent committee to determine the cause of the accident and whether the project developers fully complied with the building code. The panel is also to investigate whether the project has been revoked by state regulators in oversight.

“People are certainly upset and people are angry. We can be confident we are doing everything,” said the governor.

By Chinedu Asadu

Associated Press