Two people have been rescued alive, Friday, from the rubble of a collapsed three-storey building located at No. 95, Abeokuta Street, Cemetery, Ebutemeta area of Lagos State. The building was directly opposite the Ebute Metta Comprehensive Health Centre before its self collapse at about 1 pm.

The victims are a female adult and a young girl who sustained minor injuries but were given first aid treatment and stabilized before being moved to the hospital for medical attention. Eyewitnesses’ account said the building used to be a bungalow before being converted to a three-story about 10 years ago. Onlookers at the scene claimed the building domiciled in-between Lagos and Abeokuta Streets in Ebute Metta according had shown signs of distress before it eventually collapsed.

Also, it was said to be comprised of six units of room and parlour mini flats which were fully occupied after it’s a reconstruction by a developer contracted by a wing of the family before it’s self collapse.

Confirming the incident, the Director-General Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Dr. Oluwafemi Oke-Osanyintolu said the Agency had conducted and completed the enumeration of the occupants to ascertain their number. However, he said investigations were ongoing about the cause of the incident. The aftermath of the collapse also affected the building of a private school in the area as sympathisers were jubilating that schools were not in session as at the time of the incident.

How I narrowly escaped death — Vulcanizer A vulcanizer within the vicinity popularly called “Afeez Vulcanizer” who escaped death by whiskers said he usually sat within the premises of the collapsed building to attend to his customers unknown to him that the tragedy would occur. Fortunately for Him, the building suffered a total collapse a few minutes after he left the premises for Yaba area. He said, “I operate a vulcanizing business beside the collapsed building and I usually relax or attend to my customers within the premises due for shed.

I had sat there since morning in the company of my friends when the urge came that I should go to Yaba to buy material. Hardly had I reached Alaago-meji when I started receiving calls from well-wishers who informed me of the incident and I rushed back to confirm it. “Lo and behold! The building had totally collapsed and some sympathisers were searching for me underneath the rubble. I owe God praises and adoration for sparing my life from the unfortunate incident.

I can’t say if my tools were damaged or lost to the incident but I know is that I am alive to share my experience on the land of the living,”  Another survivor simply identified as Madam Titilayo who owned a shop at the ground floor of the collapsed building said she was carrying on with her daily activities when she heard her neighbours shouting in the Yoruba Language “E Jade o, e jade o…” meaning “come out, come out” and without wasting time, she ran out of the building only to discover that both the first and second floors had collapsed, “though I suffered a minor injury on my leg it cannot be compared with when the building collapsed on me.

I thank my creator for sparing my life o. Help me thank God, help me thank God…” As at the time of filing this report, it could not be ascertained whether people were still trapped underneath the rubble but the Lagos State Coordinator, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Ibrahim Farinloye, said more casualties would have been recorded assuming it happened on a food market day as based on the market arrangement on Covid-19 Pandemic.

Moreso, occupants of the building were all outside before the incident. LASEMA Response Team was led by Director Operations, Lagos Response Unit,  Lagos Ambulance unit (LASAMBUS), Lagos State Building Control Agency (LABSCA), Lagos State Material Testing Agency, Lagos State Fire Service, Nigeria Police, and others were responders at the scene of the incident. As at the time of the incident, both Osanyintolu and Farinloye said the cause of the incident could not be ascertained.

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