Owner of collapsed Lagos building 'defied' demolition order

Thursday March 14 2019

Map | BBC


A building that collapsed in Lagos on Wednesday killing at least 12 people had been marked for demolition by a construction agency, sources revealed.

Miss Bukola Salami, a former teacher in the school housed in the ill-fated building, said the owner of the learning institution had been told to move out, but resisted on account that she had no money to rent another apartment.

”The situation of the building forced me to resign from the school in December, Miss Salami said.

“It is unfortunate that such incident happened. It looks like a dream to me,” she said.

Away at work

A resident of the collapsed building at 63 Massey Street, who simply gave his name as Akin, said the developer found a way to rescue the property after it was marked for demolition by the State Building Control Agency.


Mr Akin said he was away at work, when he received the news of the incident, adding that the owner had done repairs two years ago.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency were still carrying out rescue and recovery operations at the site of the tragedy.

Reliable sources said that most of the victims rescued from the rubble on Wednesday died in hospital.

Ten families occupied the first and the ground floors, while the school occupied the second and fourth floors.

The deaths

Seventeen of those rescued were taken to Massey Children Hospital, close to the scene of the tragedy, while others were taken to the Lagos Island General Hospital on Broad Street.

A worker at the Massey Children Hospital, said that four out of those brought in, died just minutes later.

The Lagos General Hospital also reported the deaths of six victims rushed there.

Lagos Governor Akinwunmi Ambode visited the scene and reassured of the government's commitment to the rescue and recovery operations.

The Deputy Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr Wasiu Esinlokun, who also visited the scene, said a notice for demolition was served on the building on Tuesday, a day before it collapsed.

Mr Esinlokun said that the Lagos State Government would ensure that victims of the incident were treated in hospitals for free.