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One dies, 15 rescued as two-storey building collapses in Lagos

By Bertram Nwannekanma, Victor Gbonegun and Jesutomi Akomolafe
20 October 2021   |   3:48 am
At least one person was confirmed dead and 15 others were rescued alive yesterday, following a building collapse at No. 97, Haruna area of Ikorodu, Lagos.

Scene of the collapsed building at Ikorodu, Lagos

LABSCA demolishes 15 illegal structures in Obalende 

At least one person was confirmed dead and 15 others were rescued alive yesterday, following a building collapse at No. 97, Haruna area of Ikorodu, Lagos.

The incident was said to have occurred on Monday night. It took the timely intervention of people nearby, who mobilised to carry out initial rescue activities before the fire service and Police arrived at the scene.
 
The Guardian gathered that the two-storey building, which collapsed, had been marked for demolition by the State’s building control agency (LABSCA).

 
As at press time, efforts were still ongoing to save the victims trapped in the rubble of the collapsed building. Those rescued have been transferred to the General Hospital, Ikorodu, for medical treatment.
 
Speaking on the incident, the Acting Coordinator, National Emergency Management Agency NEMA, Lagos State, Ibrahim Farinloye said NEMA, Police, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency ( LASEMA), Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service and other relevant agencies are currently searching the debris.

But the   General Manager of LABSCA, Gbolahan Oki, an architect, said the collapsed building was not distressed but abandoned.
According to him, issues of collapse have been reduced due to pro activeness in identifying and removing such buildings but the major challenge is that residents are reluctant to move out of distressed buildings. He said the agency has in the last few weeks removed 45 distressed buildings in Lagos State to avert collapse.

These buildings, he said, had earlier been identified and published in national dailies. He said: “We remain committed in ensuring that incidences of collapse are eradicated or at least brought down to a barest minimum.

“We appeal to Lagosians to assist us in this drive by reporting distressed and illegal constructions….. Together we can stamp out building collapse and safeguard precious lives and properties of Lagosians.”

MEANWHILE, LASBCA has demolished 15 illegal, haphazard and non conforming structures at Obalende in Ikoyi/Victoria Island Local Council Development Area (LCDA).
   
LABSCA’s General Manager said  the buildings were removed to restore sanity to Obalende and also avert collapse that may lead to possible loss of life and valuable property of owners. 
 
Oki stated that the buildings owners/developers had been served necessary notices ranging from contravention, stop work and removal notices when the structures were still at infancy but rather than do the needful, the owners/developers ignored the notices and quickly rushed the buildings to completion, in the process, doing shoddy jobs that could endanger life and property of Lagosians.
 


He lamented that despite several engagements with the developers where they had promised to make adjustments, nothing was done, hence the agency had no option but to remove the buildings which were not constructed according to the building codes and laws of the state. 
 
He said: “Government will not leave any stone unturned, when it comes to building control regulations in the state as contraveners of the State Building Laws will face the full wrath of the Law that will serve as deterrent to others that plan to engage in shabby jobs in future building construction.”
 
He added that for a building to be deemed safe, it must have necessary permits from Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA) after which the owner/developer must obtain authorisation to commence construction from LASBCA and every stage of the construction must be closely monitored by LASBCA officials, after which the building will be issued a certificate of completion and fitness for habitation.

The officials, Oki said, comprise of builders, structural engineers, civil engineers, electrical engineers and architects,  He appealed to owners/developers to always build by the rules and urged members of the public to be their brother’s keeper by acting as checkmating officers and report any illegal construction going on in their vicinities, as the agency alone cannot do the job without support of the public.

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