Rescuers scramble to save survivors of school building collapse in Nigeria
Updated 20:27, 14-Mar-2019
CGTN

Hundreds of rescuers have been struggling to search and rescue victims of a collapsed building housing a school in Ita Faji area of Lagos, Nigeria's commercial hub, which reportedly killed at least 12 students.

"Some of the victims were brought in dead," a doctor told Xinhua News Agency at a local hospital in Ita-Faji area of the Lagos Island where some victims are being treated.

The school had up to 172 registered students, and rescuers on site said some 50 people had been rescued alive as of Wednesday night.

Soldiers, police, and personnel from the disaster management agency jointly attempted to pull out victims stuck in rubles of twisted wreckage.

It is estimated many of the victims remain underneath the ruin, Akinwunmi Ambode, the state governor told reporters at the scene.

Ambode said that many buildings were marked for demolition but the landlords resisted the government's plan.

People wait outside a hospital after the collapse in Nigeria's commercial capital Lagos, Nigeria, March 13, 2019. /Reuters Photo

People wait outside a hospital after the collapse in Nigeria's commercial capital Lagos, Nigeria, March 13, 2019. /Reuters Photo

He expressed sadness over the incident, stressing that the marked building for demolition would be pulled down.

The governor said the collapsed building was a residential house with the school operating illegally.

According to Xinhua reporters on site, a teacher, trapped with up to 20 pupils under the rubble, called for help, while emergency services were on ground to assist with the rescue operation.

Pieces of heavy machinery equipment have been deployed.

At the Lagos Island General Hospital, there was no official confirmation of casualties since the authorities need time for identification.

Men rush towards an ambulance outside a hospital after the collapse, March 13, 2019. /Reuters Photo

Men rush towards an ambulance outside a hospital after the collapse, March 13, 2019. /Reuters Photo

Head of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) Adesina Tiamiyu told reporters, however, that many have been rescued, while some deaths were recorded.

In another official response, Titilayo Goncalves, a senior state health official, said 20 wounded are receiving treatment in some hospitals.

Goncalves said some of the victims had been transferred to other hospitals for further treatment.

Earlier, Ibrahim Farinloye, coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency in Nigeria's southwest region, also said it was difficult to give accurate casualty figures as the rescue operation, which he coordinated, was still ongoing.

Most of the victims were pupils, while "about 50 pupils have been rescued alive," said the official.

Cases of collapsed buildings often occur in Lagos, Nigeria's economic hub, as some property owners and developers do not adhere strictly to planning and building laws and regulations.

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency