Eyewitnesses have confirmed that only four persons were injured in another building collapse, which occurred on Monday at Egerton Square, Oke Arin, Lagos Island.
Tajudeen Duati, an eyewitness, who said he had just moved out of the area, told Newsbreak that the people injured in the collapse had been contracted by the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) to demolish the building.
According to him, the former occupants of the house had also moved out on Sunday, following the visit of LASBCA officials after the Ita Faji incident.
“I used to live in one of the buildings close to the collapsed structure. But I moved out recently because my wife just put to bed and I already knew that the state government could come and demolish the house anytime because of what happened last week. The house had been marked for demolition three years ago, so I left for the safety of my baby and family.
“The people living in the house also moved out finally on Sunday because officials of the state building agency visited the house on last week, so we don’t know what they told them.
“The four people injured in the building are two Yorubas and Hausas. They were employed by the the building agency to demolish the building. As they were working, I was even saying these people would not do the job well because you need a machine to easily bring down that kind of video, but again if you look at where the house was built, hidden, a machine cannot reached the place.
“Before I could even blink, we just heard a loud noise. We all ran from the scene. We were confused at first, then we began to make efforts to rescue the people trapped,” he disclosed.
Another eyewitness, Abdulaziz DeYoung, lamented the absence of government agencies while the rescue operation lasted.
Kazeem Kehinde, who also witnessed the incident, blamed the LASBCA and the victims for the collapse.
“How can a state like Lagos employ ordinary people to come and demolish a four-storey building?”, he lamented.
“Then when those people came, they started bringing down the house from the first floor, how would it not collapse on them”.
A lady who simply gave her name as Enitan, said a private hospital known as FUJA, refused to offer the victims treatment, before an ambulance from the Lagos State Emergency Manage Agency (LASEMA) came to transfer them to a General Hospital along Broad Street on the Island.
“As they were rescuing them them, we used wheelbarrow to take the first person to FUJA. Same with the others because the crowd was too much for even a motorcycle to pass. The victims sustained broken arms, legs and even neck. But FUJA didnt treat them. We even had to force them to allow the victims stay at the hospital before we called LASEMA, who came with amblance and from there, they took them to General Hospital,” she said.
The collapse affected one of the buildings surrounding it. Hotel D’Emilia, located behind the structure, lost a room to the incident.
Chigozie Alu, manager of the hotel, disclosed that a client checked out of the room on Sunday.
“Although I’m sad that the building collapsed on one of our rooms, but again, I thank God because a client checked out of that room that was destroyed last Sunday, else, it would have been different by now”.
When our reporter visited the emergency and accident centre of the General Hospital, on Lagos Island, the Managing Director, who is also said to be the Public Relations Officer, was unavailable for comment.
But according to a source at the hospital, two of the victims have been discharged, while the other two are still undergoing treatment.