Building collapse crushes two sisters to death

File: Rescue workers searching for survivors

 The collapsed building showed signs of severe cracks.

A two-storey building, Block M20, Jakande Estate, at Church Street, Oke-Afa, Isolo, Lagos, on Wednesday collapsed at about midnight killing two sisters.

The sisters in their mid-twenties were pulled out from the debris dead, while their mother was seriously injured and had been taken to the hospital.

A correspondent who visited the scene reported that at 6.15 a.m, some officials of the Nigerian Red Cross Society came and took the corpses away.

Some other buildings around the vicinity were noticed to have severe cracks. The buildings were erected about 30 years ago.

A man living in the neighbourhood, Opeyemi Fagun, said that they noticed that the building had been sinking gradually for about a year.

He said that the occupants had been warned to evacuate the building over a year ago when the walls started cracking.

According to him, occupants of one of the floors in the building had packed out early this year while the others remained.

“The building was already sinking, shaking with cracked walls and they have been warned to pack out.

“When we heard a huge bang and a cloud of dust, we ran out and heard screaming from inside the rubbles; so, we went to dig the people out with our bare hands.

“But our efforts were futile as the girls were already dead,” he said.

Another neighbour, Kidochi Okonye, said that when they came out at about 12. 30 a.m. and saw what happened, they called the National Emergency Management Agency, the fire service and the Red Cross, but none of them came.

He said that Red Cross officials eventually came by 6 a.m. when the dead sisters had been pulled out. They carried the corpses away.

The Secretary of the Lagos State Red Cross, Ijeoma Nweke, said that the corpses had been deposited at the Isolo General Hospital.

One of the occupants of the first floor of the collapsed building, who refused to disclose her name, said that they came in at 9 p.m. on Tuesday and saw that their decking had cracked badly.

“My brother went upstairs to warn the Cokers but they did not take heed to the warning and we decided not to sleep in that building.

“We were seated outside when we heard a bang and started screaming for help.

“It was so fast that I can’t describe it; I wish I could have helped them, but I just could not,” she said.

Meanwhile, officials of the Lagos State Building Control Agency visited the area of the collapsed building on Wednesday morning and marked eight other structures for demolition.

The occupants of the marked buildings were given 48-hours to move out.



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