A 21-storey apartment building under construction has collapsed in an upscale area of Nigeria’s largest city, killing at least three people and leaving dozens more missing.
Lagos police commissioner Hakeem Odumosu confirmed the deaths, but added that three survivors had been pulled from the rubble in Ikoyi by Tuesday morning.
Officials arriving at the scene were confronted by crowds of people venting their anger that rescue efforts started several hours after the collapse.
People are feared to be trapped after a 21-story building collapsed in Lagos, Nigeria pic.twitter.com/NydrjRqzMs
— Smriti Sharma (@SmritiS24856750) November 1, 2021
Construction worker Eric Tetteh, 41, said that he and his brother had managed to escape.
But he estimated that more than 100 people were inside the building at the time it crumbled into a pile of debris.
Workers said the high-rise apartment building had been under construction for about two years, and it was not immediately known what had caused the collapse.
Why do buildings easily collapse in Lagos and elsewhere in #Nigeria? Our report of 2019 explains a few factors. Hundreds of buildings run at risk of collapsing. What’s in addition shocking about today’s tragedy: the building wasn’t even finished in #Ikoyi @dwnews. pic.twitter.com/noCRq4lfm9
— Fanny Facsar (@FannyFacsar) November 1, 2021
However, such incidents are relatively common in Lagos because enforcement of building code regulations is weak.
Other observers blame shoddy work by private developers eager to meet demand for housing in the megacity.
Olayemi Bello told the Associated Press that five of his friends were trapped in the building and he feared the worst.
“When they finish work, they will come outside and they will play with us and talk about the work,” he said.
“Now, nobody. All of them are dead.”