Two persons on Monday sustained varying injuries after another three-storey building collapsed in Lagos Island.
The incident which happened on 50 Kakawa Street, has brought to four the number of buildings that had collapsed in the area since the March 13 disaster that killed no fewer than 18 persons on Massey Street, Itafaaji, while the state government has pulled down 17 defective structures within the same period.
It was gathered that latest collapsed building had been marked for demolition for a long time but officials of the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LABSCA) did nothing to pull it down until it caved on Monday afternoon.
Those who sustained injuries, were residents of a nearby building the collapsed structure fell on, while another three-storey building situated on 47/49 Odunlami Street, directly behind the collapsed one was also affected.
Fatimah’s father, Lawal Ahmed, an Islamic cleric said she was returning from the toilet when the three-storey building collapsed on theirs.
“When the incident happened at about 12: 50pm, majority of us (tenants) in 50A Kakawa Street were outside, trying to assist a shop owner at the down floor of the collapsed building. We all took to our heels but I immediately returned back when I remembered that my daughter was inside.
“With the help of other people around, we were able to rescue my daughter, Fatimah and Alaba Audio, a 21-year-old son of my neighbour. My daughter was taken to Fehintola Private Hospital at Bamgbose Street, while Alaba was taken to the General Hospital for medical attention,” he said.
An aunt to Alaba, Abiola Adio, said he was sleeping in their room when the high rise building fell on him, adding that both victims were responding to treatment at the hospital.
Narrating how the building collapsed, the woman said it happened few hours after the last occupant (one of the owners) vacated the premises.
She said: “This building that collapsed today has been marked for a very long time. I thought they were going to demolish it today (Monday) due to late movement of the owners of the house. One of the owner’s son lived there and only moved out on Sunday. It was this morning that he removed his belongings only for the building to collapse few hours later.
“It is sad that the government did not demolish this building after several markings until it fell and affected ours. If they had demolished it, the structure would not have fallen and injured our children.
“They were asleep when the building collapsed and fell on them. It happened around 1pm. We are just thanking God that it did not happen in the evening or on a Sunday because more people would have been affected. There are a lot of children in this compound and they had gone to school when it happened.”
According to the woman, the state government should rein in LABSCA and discipline agents who were fond of collecting bribes from owners, residents of defective buildings instead of doing the right things.
“Government should kindly help us. Some of the government officials who come around to check buildings end up collecting bribes from owners of these buildings that are due for demolition.
“When they collect bribe, they just go and write opposite report of what they saw and that is why we have been facing this issue of building collapse in this area. It is not helping us, people are dying,” she lamented.
At the time our Correspondent visited the scene, the General Manager Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) Adesina Tiamiyu, Rapid Response Squad (RRS) policemen, fire service officials and LABSCA agents were at the scene preparatory to level the collapsed building as well as the one it affected.
People were seen assisting a shop owner remove his wares from the building, while state officials awaiting a tow-truck to remove vehicles parked on the street that were obstructing the movement of the excavator to the scene.
The shop owner Muritala Ageshin said he was thankful the building did not collapse on himself and his yoinger brother who were packing out their wares.
“My brother and I were inside the shop, packing out our belongings because government officials came last Friday and gave all tenants in the building quit notice with instruction that they are coming back today to demolish it.