Death toll from the 21-Storey building collapse on Gerard Road in the Ikoyi area of Lagos State on Monday hit 10 as at Tuesday, 9am local time.
It was gathered that many people were still trapped in the rubble, including the Managing Director, Fourscore Heights Limited, Femi Osibona, who owned the building, and some of his clients and engineers.
TOS NEWS reported on Monday that the building collapsed around 1.36pm when workers were on the site.
A worker Gabriel Bassey who survived the incident confirmed that about 50 persons were still trapped in the rubble.
He said, “This project, 360 Degree, was built by Fourscore Homes Limited. I was trying to plug my phone and not up to five seconds that I left the spot, I saw the building coming down and I ran to safety. We have a lot of people trapped in the rubble, who we need to bring out.
“When the incident happened, we brought out six dead bodies and we still have like 30 Togolese and Nigerian bricklayers and four engineers and other workers. My boss Femi, is still trapped in the building. He was on the 18th floor with some of his clients, who wanted to buy the building, when the incident happened.”
A resident, Morris Ashiobi, said the building did not show any sign before it caved in.
He said, “When the incident happened, I was the first person to climb the building to the last floor and I saw corpses. I started calling people to come and rescue others. We recovered six dead bodies, rescued one, while the rest are still under the rubble.
“The building didn’t give any sign, it just came down. We were still working on it. It took an hour before the emergency agencies came and we had brought out the dead bodies and rescued one person before they came. If I’m not mistaken, about 40 persons were on site, because we were working at the time. Some people came from Abuja today (Monday) to work. I have many friends still trapped in the building.
“When the police came, they chased us out and didn’t allow us to rescue anyone again; if they had allowed us, we would still have rescued more people.”
An eyewitness, Blessing Feyijimi, who lamented the lack of equipment by the first responders, stated that more people would have been rescued if they were better equipped.
He said, “When the incident happened around 1.36pm, we started rescuing people but the security men locked the gate and didn’t allow people to enter. We protested and forced our way in. We recovered four dead bodies on the last floor and rescued four injured persons; but some people are still trapped in the rubble.”
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, confirmed the death of five persons, adding that three others were rescued.
However, the South-West Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency, Ibrahim Farinloye, said four corpses were recovered from the building, adding that four were rescued.
Emergency responders at the scene included the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, National Emergency Management Agency, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, Lagos State Fire Service, Federal Road Safety Corps, police, army and paramedics.
The Lagos State Government, while reacting to the incident, called for calm among the residents.
The state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotosho, in a statement, said rescue agencies were on the ground to save those under the rubble.
He added that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu had ordered an investigation into the incident, adding that a report of the probe would be made public.