LAGOS – Nigerian rescue crews dug for more survivors in the rubble of a collapsed Lagos high-rise building on Tuesday, a day after the disaster killed at least 20 people and left many more trapped inside.
The 21-storey building was still under construction when it fell abruptly into a pile of concrete slabs on Monday in the wealthy Ikoyi district of Nigeria’s commercial capital.
Rescuers combed through the rubble of a high-rise building in Nigeria’s commercial capital Lagos in search of survivors on Tuesday, a day after it collapsed while under construction, as the death toll rose to 16 with scores reported missing.
The Lagos state government said it had put its chief architect on indefinite suspension and launched an independent investigation of the causes of the collapse of what was to have become a high-end apartment block.
Building collapses are frequent in Africa’s most populous country, where regulations are poorly enforced and construction materials often substandard.
Sixteen bodies, including the assistant of the building’s owner, have been recovered so far while nine people have been pulled out alive, emergency services said, as excavators sifted rubble from the heaps of shattered concrete and twisted metal where the building once stood.
Agitated families whose loved ones were missing gathered nearby. Some wailed and others prayed in small groups for the safe return of their relatives.
As tempers flared, a few got into a scuffle with government officials, demanding to be allowed to help with the search effort.
High-end apartments have been springing up in Ikoyi, and the collapsed building was part of three towers being built by private developer Fourscore Homes, where the cheapest unit was selling for $1.2 million.
Osibona could not be reached for comment on Tuesday. Local media reports said he may have been among those trapped.