Luxury High-Rise Apartment Building Collapses in Lagos, Many Feared Dead

The rubble at the scene of the collapse

It was a black Monday in Lagos as an unconfirmed number of persons were trapped as a high-rise luxury apartment building under construction in Ikoyi collapsed in the afternoon.

At least four persons have been rescued from the rubble, according to a Channels Television reporter at the scene.

The Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Obafemi Hamzat, was sighted at the scene and officials of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) said they were trying to deploy the military for crowd control as apprehensive sympathisers insisted there are many people trapped inside the building.

Before the collapse

“I thought it was an earthquake when I rushed out of my apartment just after 3 p.m. I felt the building move and knew something was wrong,” Olu Apata, a nearby resident and the president of the Nigerian Bar Association, told CNN.

Apata said the building has been under construction for the past two years and that the developer was at the site meeting with prospective buyers earlier on Monday.

Three people have since been rescued from the collapse, according to a statement from the Lagos State government, which added that the city’s rescue unit, fire service and ambulance service were at the scene.

The statement did not indicate how many people are currently missing.

The investigation into the cause of the collapse is ongoing, and officials on the ground are evaluating possible damage to the surrounding structures, the statement said.

Muhammad, a civil servant, told CNN he was in his office next door when the high rise came down. “We just heard an unusually loud sound from our office building and the building we’re occupying was vibrating. So, I looked through the window, only to see the building collapsing floor after floor. And of course, we all ran to safety.”

It took a while for rescue services to arrive at the scene. Hours after the collapse, hundreds of people were milling around the site, helplessly surveying slabs of concrete piled high in a heap. Locals were digging through the wreckage by hand.

Some in the crowd were furious that an official emergency response took a while to commence.

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