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Collapsed Lagos Building: NEMA Confirms Rise in Death Toll

By Niyi Adeyi

LAGOS, NIGERIA (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – As the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) confirmed that the death toll of collapse building in Lagos Island has risen to six, the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) has warned building Owners and Developers to desist from adding other floors or structures to old and existing buildings without obtaining necessary approvals.

LASBCA General Manager Engr. Olalekan Shodeinde gave the warning Wednesday while speaking on the incident.

Shodeinde said the building, a four-floor structure built with bricks, collapsed due to foundation failure when the bearing capacity of the soil could not sustain additional structure.

He stressed that any building to be raised after the first construction, are given thorough engineering appraisal and integrity test on the structure.

The collapse, he stated, was due to the additional load on the property resulting from a communication mast erected on the building two weeks ago.

Engr. Shodeinde said several inspections conducted on the same property in the past did not reveal any sign of distress even though the structural members were constructed with gravel.

According to him, “the additional load imposed on the structure added to the previous design capacity, as such the extra load being transferred through the structural members made the building heavier than the capacity of the soil which is the ultimate load bearer”.

The GM said that the present administration aimed at achieving zero tolerance to incidents of collapsed buildings, emphasizing that no responsible government would watch her citizens die as a result of irresponsible acts of few violators of the law.

“The spate of collapsed buildings in recent years is a reawakening call to the fact that both the government and the people need to collaborate more than ever not only to eliminate the incidence of building collapse but to also ensure that people build in compliance with physical planning laws”, Shodeinde stressed.

Meanwhile, NEMA South West zone Spokesman Mr. Ibrahim Farinloye has confirmed that the death toll of the collapse which occurred Tuesday has increased to six.

While speaking with the NAN Wednesday, Mr. Farinloye added that 15 people had so far been rescued.

He specified that said that the incident occurred at Tokunbo street, off Odunfa Road, Carrena/Martins Street, Lagos Island.

Mr. Farinloye also informed that another 11-year-old boy was pulled out alive of the debris at about 4.00 a.m. Wednesday.

Another 11-year-old boy with his two legs chopped off, according to the NEMA Publicist was similarly rescued alive Tuesday.

The rescue team according to NEMA Spokesman include: Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA); Response Unit; the police; Lagos State Ambulance Service as well as the Lagos State Fire Service.

 

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