Three persons were confirmed dead and about four others including a security guard and construction workers were reportedly trapped on Saturday after a three-story building under construction on Akanbi Crescent, in the Yaba area of Lagos collapsed.

It was learned that a worker, identified only as Sunday, was rescued from the rubble.

The incident, which occurred around 3.30 pm, was coming barely three months after a 21-storey building in Ikoyi, owned by the late Managing Director, Fourscore Heights Limited, Femi Osibona, collapsed, trapping over 50 persons.

More than 40 persons, including Osibona, his assistant, Onyinye Enekwe, and friend, Wale Bob-Oseni, were killed.

A preliminary report had blamed the Ikoyi incident on violation of the approved building plan initially designed as eight storey building, and poor quality of concrete materials.

Some residents and eyewitnesses, who spoke to one of our correspondents on the Yaba building collapse, also fingered compromise in the quality of the materials.

Ine of the survivors, Sunday, explained that the building had shown signs of distress and he reported it to his boss.

He said the boss told him and other workers to ignore the signs and keep working. He stated, “Even today (Saturday), as we were working, the building was shaking, but our oga (oga) said we should continue (working).

We even agreed that after today, we would not come back here again to work. I thank God for saving me from this mess, but my phone is still inside.”

A 16-year-old, who identified himself only as Shan, said he had gone to buy food for one of the construction workers and was about to enter when it suddenly collapsed.

He told Sunday PUNCH that about five people were still trapped in the rubble but two corpses were later recovered.

He said, “I went to buy food for someone that was inside. When I came back and wanted to go in, the building suddenly collapsed. Other people are inside there. They are up to four or five. I thank God for my life.”

The building collapsed sometime last year.

An eyewitness present who spoke to Punch correspondent said a part of the building had collapsed sometime last year.

He said, “This was similar to what happened last year when they started erecting the building. A section of the building caved in and destroyed some cars parked by the fence. “The Lagos State Government was invited and they came, but I don’t know whether they told them to stop work or not.

“After a few weeks, work continued and nothing has been done by the authorities since then until today (Saturday) when the building just crumbled on the workers.” Another eyewitness, Samuel, who spoke to the punch said the incident happened so fast.

He stated, “I was upstairs so I could see as the building crumbled. Before then, I could hear some chatter from the building; probably by the workers. I am sure they are still under there. I just pray they are not dead by now because no substantial effort has been made to rescue them.”

Late arrival of emergency responders

An aggrieved resident identified only as Tola told PUNCH that the Lagos State Emergency Managemnet Agency arrived at the scene late.

Worried residents scrambled through the rubble to rescue victims while others protested late arrival of cranes eventually brought in by LASEMA around 5 pm.

“They should go. Their presence is not helping the situation. We could hear someone shouting for help from the rubble but the victim could no longer be heard after some time, PUNCH gathered that the building got approval from the Lagos State Building Control Agency in 2020.

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