The Lagos State Building Control Agency, LASBCA, said occupants of the three-storey building which collapsed on Monday in Lagos failed to heed its repeated warnings to vacate the house.
LASBCA Acting General Manager, Oyewale Joseph, told the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Lagos that the building collapsed due to weak foundation and use of substandard materials.
Two people died while 14 others survived when the building under renovation collapsed at Daddy Alhaja Street in Apongbon area of Lagos Island on Monday.
“Before now, LABSCA district office on Lagos Island had served all statutory notices on this very building and having served all the notices, we have also sealed the building twice.
“Last week Friday, the building in question was sealed off and all the occupants were chased out by the enforcement team of LABSCA.
“The developer took advantage of the long weekend and began illegal renovation of this building; there is no renovation permit and there is no letter from the supervising engineer,’’ Mr. Joseph said.
He said that LABSCA was doing its best to ensure that all the distressed buildings on Lagos Island and within the state were under its control.
Earlier, Tiamiyu Adesina, General Manager, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, told journalists that the prompt response by the agency led to the rescue of 14 victims alive.
“The agency received a distress call at about 7 a.m. concerning the collapse which prompted the immediate activation of the agency’s emergency and other response teams.
“The agency immediately mobilised all the stakeholders to the scene and successfully rescued 14 victims with various degrees of injury, who were immediately moved to Lagos Mainland Hospital for treatment,’’ he said.
He advised owners and developers of buildings in the state to strictly adhere to building codes and physical planning laws to avert unnecessary loss of lives.
Akande Femi, a resident of 14, Daddy Alhaja Street, told NAN that some occupants of the building had just returned from the early morning prayer when the incident happened.
“It happened at exactly 7:20 am this morning, 14 people have been rescued and taken to hospital while two people died but people are still trapped on first floor and the second floor.
“People were rescued on the third and fourth floor while the second and the first floors sank,’’ he said.
He explained that the house was a residential building but the ground floor was being used for business.
However, Mr. Adesina said in a telephone interview that the agency would continue its search for possible survivors who might be trapped under the building.
“If anybody thinks there are people trapped there, they can come to us. Until I left the spot, there was no such information but my head of operation is still there on ground,’’ he said.