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Lagos high-rise collapses, burying workers

Lagos high-rise collapses, burying workers

A 21-story building under construction in the Nigerian commercial capital has collapsed, burying workers. Emergency crews and neighbors are digging frantically in an attempt to save people trapped in the rubble.

A 21-story high-rise building has collapsed in the Nigerian city of Lagos, burying an unknown number of workers. At least four people have been confirmed dead.

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Emergency services crews and locals in the upscale residential and business district of Ikoyi are currently at the scene trying to free workers trapped under the rubble of the luxury apartment building, which has been under construction for the past two years.

“It is a 25-story [sic] building still under construction. Many workers are trapped under the rubble. We are trying to rescue them,” according to Femi Oke-Osanyintolu, an official with Lagos State Emergency Management Agency. “We cannot say at this moment how many are dead. The rescue operation is ongoing.”

“All first responders are at the scene while the heavy-duty equipment and life detection equipment have been dispatched,” said agency officials.

So far, at least three people have been rescued, with one telling a local TV station that about 50 workers were in the building at the time of the accident. Other workers at the site say that as many as 100 people were in the structure when it collapsed.

Officials were greeted by angry residents when they arrived on the scene some three hours after the collapse occurred. Soldiers were deployed to the scene to control the situation.

Authorities say it is as yet unclear what caused the collapse, though such tragedies are not uncommon in Lagos, where building regulation and safety enforcement are lax. With over 20 million residents, Lagos is the most populous city in Africa, and Nigeria it’s most populous country.

The collapsed structure was part of a three-towered development touted by real estate mogul Femi Osibona, owner of Fourscore Homes, as a “bold, beautiful lifestyle statement.” The project’s website has been shut down.

In February 2020, structural engineering company Prowess Engineering Ltd., formally submitted its withdrawal from the project citing concerns over how it was being executed as well as with the quality of concrete being used. 

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