20 dead, mostly children, in Nigeria building collapse

Hopes fade Wreckage is searched

Hopes fade Wreckage is searched

Families kept vigil at a hospital on Thursday for children pulled from the wreckage of a collapsed school building in the Nigerian city of Lagos.

Authorities have so far only said that people had been killed, without giving a number, after the four-storey building the school was at the top of collapsed on Wednesday.

The statement quotes the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, as saying that 20 victims were brought in dead to the Lagos Island General Hospital, while 45 survivors were being managed at the Lagos Island General Hospital, Massey Street Children Hospital, Onikan Health Centre, Gbagada General Hospital, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, and the National Orthopedic Hospital, Igbobi, as well as the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH).

Around two dozen people, mostly women, were gathered outside the wing where hospital officials said seven children were being treated.

"One was described as "serious" and required surgery", he added.

In total, 37 people were rescued.

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.

And he promised a full investigation, pledging there would be "punishment" for anyone found responsible for the building's collapse.

Joshua Yang, of the Lagos State Fire Service, said the nursery area of the building had now been cleared.

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Afolabi blamed the government for the state of fix of many buildings on Lagos Island, many of which have been listed for demolition.

But local residents and business owners were outraged at the move, as they said they had been given little or no notice to vacate their premises and had nowhere else to go. They said some buildings deemed by state government officials to be uninhabitable were renovated by landlords seeking rent.

Building collapses are not uncommon in Nigeria due to subpar materials and lenient enforcement of building regulations, according to The Associated Press.

In 2016, at least 60 people were killed when the roof collapsed at a church in the southern city of Uyo.

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. "I don't know how long it has been", she said, as her eyes filled with tears.

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.

"As you see now my belongings are still inside".

"We are still trying to find out how many are trapped inside", said police officer Seun Ariwyo, who said there were probably scores. "If they are doing this they should help us".

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