One of the survivors of the collapsed 21-storey building in Ikoyi, Lagos, said they were working on a cracked pillar on the first floor of the skyscraper when it crumbled.
The survivor, a labourer at the site, was interviewed in one of the hospitals where he is still recuperating.
PREMIUM TIMES is withholding his identity to avoid him being victimised for speaking to the press. He also said he was warned not to discuss the incident with anyone.
“I was working with my colleague. I have been told not to tell anybody. That day, we were working on the first floor, Engineer Kola and Engineer Ola told us there is one pillar on the first floor, the pillar was cracked, the engineers told us to break the pillar so that they could fix another pillar there because the pillar is really big they have confidence that nothing would happen to the pillar if they set another one,” he said.
“Suddenly we heard a noise, the thing (pillar) started to shake, I and Monday (another labourer) ran when we saw that the pillar was starting to shake. When I was running, I fell down I was struggling to come out.”
He said he managed to move out of the building and a gateman helped him onto a motorcycle that took him to the hospital before the arrival of the government’s emergency responders.
“When I ran outside, the gateman saw me, he now called a bike man. I ran out before the rescue operatives came in. The owner of the house (Femi Osibona) knows (knew) about the pillar, that it was cracked. He told the two engineers to ask us to break it. He was aware, he saw us, he even gave us money for food (breakfast). He saw us there when we were working on it.”
He said that Mr Osibona was in a meeting when the building collapsed.
He also said that two members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), whom he identified as Sam and Shola were also trapped under the rubble.
The labourer’s account provides an insight into what could have caused the high-rise building to collapse last week. At least 44 bodies have been recovered from the rubble and 15 people rescued since rescue operations began at the site on November 1.
Last week, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu inaugurated a six-man panel to investigate the cause of the collapse.
The governor has also signed an executive bill giving legal backing to the panel.
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