Tragedy Strikes: 500-Room Lagos Building Collapse Leaves Two Hospitalized

Tragedy Strikes: 500-Room Lagos Building Collapse Leaves Two Hospitalized

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By Akinsuroju Abiodun Olubunmi

Tragedy Strikes: 500-Room Lagos Building Collapse Leaves Two Hospitalized

Tragedy Strikes: 500-Room Lagos Building Collapse Leaves Two HospitalizedTragedy Strikes: 500-Room Lagos Building Collapse Leaves Two Hospitalized

In a devastating turn of events, a multi-storey building with over 500 rooms in the Ketu area of Lagos State collapsed, resulting in two individuals fighting for their lives in a private hospital. The incident occurred after hours of persistent rainfall that swept through various parts of Lagos.


The ill-fated structure, situated at Agboye Estate on Oduntan Street, Ketu, initially gave way on Saturday afternoon, prompting residents to scramble for safety. Distressingly, on Sunday afternoon, as residents were still attempting to salvage their belongings, the building crumbled once again. This time, it also caused damage to another structure within the compound before ultimately collapsing entirely.


This harrowing development sent shockwaves through the area, compelling hundreds of families and individuals who called the building home to swiftly evacuate the premises. Upon visiting the site on Sunday, numerous residents were observed relocating their possessions in various directions, while officials from the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency cordoned off the area.


Regrettably, this compound, which accommodated several structurally compromised buildings, had previously been marked for demolition by Lagos State Government authorities. A poignant echo of a past exposé in December 2014 by Saturday PUNCH revealed the deplorable living conditions endured by tenants of Agboye Estate. They faced threats from snakes, scorpions, and other perilous creatures due to stagnant sewage water at the rear of the building. Within many blocks, constructed only inches apart, up to 12 rooms shared a solitary toilet and bathroom. On average, two occupants inhabited each room, leading to an astonishing 24 users for a single restroom.


In response to the earlier report by Saturday PUNCH, the Lagos State Government had partially sealed the building, but later rescinded the sanction a few days later. Following Sunday’s tragic events, the landlord of Agboye Estate reportedly went into hiding.


Efforts to contact Dr. Femi Oke-Osanyintolu, the Director General of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, were fruitless, as calls to his phones went unanswered, and he had not responded to a text message at press time. Mukaila Sanusi, Deputy Director of Public Affairs at Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, initially promised a return call but had not done so by the time of this report, with subsequent calls remaining unanswered.


In a WhatsApp exchange with Adetayo Asagba, Head of Public Affairs at Lagos State Building Control Agency, it was mentioned that a press release would be issued. However, as of the filing of this report, the release had not been received.


Alarming statistics from the Building Collapse Prevention Guild’s latest report reveal that Nigeria has witnessed a total of 553 building collapses between 1974 and April 13, 2023. Lagos State bore the brunt of these incidents, accounting for over 326 collapses in the past 49 years, representing 59.05% of all cases in the country during this period. It’s worth noting that 1971, 1975, and 1981 were years that saw no recorded collapses, and certain states experienced their first recorded incidents in 2022.


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