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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Nigerian rescuers work to reach survivors after building collapses

Lagos - Rescue teams worked overnight on Wednesday in Lagos to reach people trapped under the rubble of a three-storey building that collapsed earlier in the day.

An unknown number of residents were in the building on Lagos Island when it collapsed shortly after 09:00, said Okone Macauly, assistant director of the city's Federal Fire Service.

"Initially we rescued four people from the building who were slightly injured," he said.

"The cause of the collapse hasn't been ascertained, but the building was weak."

The four injured were taken to Lagos Island General Hospital, said the head of the Lagos State Emergency Agency (Lasema), Micheal Akindele.

"We cannot say if people are trapped or not because we have not gotten to ground zero," he said.

Lasema manager Shola Aderigbebe told reporters at the scene that those trapped in the rubble could still be pulled out alive.

The building had been marked for a structural test and a 14-day ultimatum to vacate had been served on its residents, he said.

"The ultimatum to vacate expired before today," he said. "We were still waiting for the test before the building collapsed. In the last four months, we have sealed 1 104 building for lack of compliance. Some are illegal structures, while some are distressed."

In September 2014, 116 people died after the collapse of a building attached to a Nigerian church, the Synagogue Church of All Nations.

Read more on: nigeria | west africa | building collapse

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