The death toll from the collapse of a high-rise building in an upscale neighborhood of Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, has risen to 36, emergency services said Thursday.
The cause of the incident is unknown, but building collapses are tragically common in Africa’s most populous country, where millions of people live in dilapidated properties and building standards are routinely ignored.
The 21-story building under construction in the Ikoyi district of Lagos collapsed on Monday afternoon, trapping dozens of people working on the construction site.
“So far 36 people – 33 men and three women – have been confirmed dead, while there were nine survivors,” Femi Oke-Osanyintolu, director general of the Human Resources Management Agency, told AFP. emergencies in Lagos State.
Distraught families and friends of people trapped in the rubble have been waiting outside the scene for days as rescue operations unfold.
Emergency services said on Wednesday 22 bodies had been found, but more were found later today.
Ibrahim Farinloye of the National Emergency Management Agency confirmed the new assessment on Thursday.
He said rescuers “won’t give up until we reach zero point,” adding that larger equipment was brought in on Tuesday night for the operation.
The number of people present at the site at the time of the collapse is still unknown.
Building collapses frequently occur in densely populated areas of Lagos, which is home to some 20 million people.
Two other smaller buildings in Lagos also collapsed on Tuesday following heavy rains, but no one was killed, Farinloye said.
Poor quality of workmanship and materials and a lack of official control are often blamed.
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said on Wednesday that the incident was a “terrible national disaster”, adding that “mistakes were made”.
He said he was setting up an independent panel to investigate the causes of the collapse and prevent similar incidents in the future.
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