Update: Sniffer dogs to assist in search of trapped bodies at The Synagogue building collapse

Five police sniffer dogs are to be deployed to the site of the collapsed building at The Synagogue Church of All Nations, Lagos, to assist in the search and rescue of trapped bodies.

The death toll from the accident, which occurred on Friday, has continued to rise. As at noon, Monday, the figure stood at 46 dead bodies and 130 rescued.

“We are deploying Nigeria Police Sniffer dogs to assist in locating trapped victims as we are getting close to area suspected to have more people trapped,” Ibrahim Farinloye, Spokesperson of the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, said in a text message.

“The Commissioner of Police has ordered release of five dogs after a collective decision to use the dogs by responding agencies and NEMA asked the Police’ Disaster Management Unit to facilitate to manage the dogs immediately.

“The dogs will assist in search and rescue faster and help in early conclusion of the operations,” Mr. Farinloye added.

The collapsed building inside the church’s premises was a five storey building which initially was two-storey and the church decided to add three additional floors on it.

But there is no evidence yet that the church secured regulatory approval before it embarked on increasing the floors of the collapsed building.

Olutoyin Ayinde, the Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, told reporters at the scene on Sunday that though investigation is still ongoing, there is no proof that the church obtained a permit to add additional structures to existing ones.

“We have no proof that there is a permit,” he said.

“We’ve asked the engineering team to meet us and for about two hours now no member of the engineering team has come because we also have questions to ask.”

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