Building collapses in Lagos, many casualties feared

Rescue workers operates a bulldozer in search of bodies in the rubble of a collapsed building in Lagos in 2017.
Rescue workers operates a bulldozer in search of bodies in the rubble of a collapsed building in Lagos in 2017.
Image: PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP

A three-storey residential building collapsed Wednesday in a densely-populated part of Lagos, and local media said there could be many casualties, including schoolchildren.

The Nigerian news station Channels TV reported that a primary school was located on the top floor of the building, "with pupils feared killed and others trapped."

The collapse occurred in the Itafaji area of Lagos Island.

A spokesman for the Nigerian emergency services, Ibrahim Farinloye, confirmed the incident.

"I can't give you the details for now. Our teams are on the ground, the situation is confused," he told AFP.

Building collapses are tragically common in Nigeria, where building regulations are routinely flouted.

In September 2014, 116 people, 84 of them South Africans, died when a six-storey building collapsed as a celebrity televangelist, Joshua TB, was preaching.

An inquiry found the building had been built illegally and had structural flaws.

In December 2016, at least 60 people were killed when a roof fell in on a church in Uyo, the capital of Akwa Ibom state, in the east of the country.

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