Flooding: Lagos fire service rescues nine from sinking building
• Lagos records 31 building collapse incidents in seven months, 75 die in three years
• Bamgbose-Martins promises sweeping reforms
The Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service, yesterday, rescued nine victims from a sinking building at 47, Akinyemi Street, Akinwunmi Estate, Mende, Maryland Lagos.
The yet-to-be-identified persons were trapped when a storey building, in the Maryland area of Lagos State, sank due to torrential rainfall.
Coordinator, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), South-west, Ibrahim Farinloye, who confirmed the development in a statement, said the agency’s officials were deployed to rescue the victims after receiving a distress call.
He said: “NEMA received a distressed alert on a sinking storey building where nine people were said to be trapped. The building is located at 47 Akinwunmi street, Akinwunmi North Estate, Mende, Maryland, Ikeja.
“The torrential rainfall, which lasted for about four hours in the early hours of the day, flooded lots of communities in Lagos State. The NEMA advance team upon close observations called for more reinforcement of personnel.”
Farinloye said while speaking with one of the trapped victims, one Blessing, she said there were up to nine people, mostly women, who were trapped when the building started sinking after being submerged. He said the landlord of the building had used a ladder to escape, while NEMA questioned him for failure to contact emergency responders, before someone from one of the trapped victim’s office contacted NEMA.
“The agencies on the ground now are LASEMA, Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service, and Police Disaster Management Unit. The rescue activities have commenced, and all the nine trapped ladies have been successfully rescued,” he added.
Also, data gathered yesterday from Lagos State Emergency Management Agency ((LASEMA) activities, showed that 31 building collapse incidents were recorded between January and July in the state.
A breakdown of the figures showed that a total of 24 buildings collapsed, one impending collapse, while six fell in the category of partial collapse.
While six people died in last Sunday’s incident at Palace Estate, Oba Abiodun Oniru road in the Iru/Victoria Island area of the state, the state recorded about 75 fatalities under the present administration.
But the new Lagos commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Engr Omotayo Bamgbose-Martins has pledged sweeping reforms to solve the problem of building collapse in the construction industry in the state.
The commissioner, who spoke on Friday at a roundtable discussion with stakeholders organised by Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), in Ikeja, on how to end building collapse, reassured Lagos residents that there would be changes and reforms to end building collapse and safeguard lives and investments.
Bamgbose-Martins noted the need for attitudinal change for building collapse to stop, stressing that the time is not for talk but action.
He said: “We have to clean our house, and we will clean our house. I would not sack staff but would ensure they change their attitude, while improving their capacities and competencies through retraining.”
He called on developers, individuals and professionals to join hands in tackling the problem. He said that quality control through the Lagos State Materials Testing Laboratory was important and would be sustained.
Bamgbose-Martins said drastic actions would be taken against changing of building designs from the originally approved ones.
While taking questions from newsmen, he said the governor had given approval for a team of 60 policemen to back up the building control enforcement officials during visits to construction sites.
Earlier, LASBCA’s general manager, Architect Gbolahan Oki stressed the need to collaborate with professionals and citizens towards achieving zero tolerance to building collapse.
He noted that an existing committee working on domestication of the National Building Code was expected to submit its report within two weeks.
Oki said the agency would embark on a mass enlightenment campaign across the state towards curbing the menace of building collapse.