Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has responded to the catastrophic school building collapse.
Buhari said in a statement on Wednesday evening that he was ‘deeply saddened’ by the building collapse, adding, “I charge the Lagos State Government to do all that is needful, so that such tragic developments do not recur.”
Adeshina Tiamiyu, general manager of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, said that the agency had recorded one death so far in the disaster, and had rescued nearly 50 people.
“We will be able to give total figures in the morning after we have cleared to the ground floor,” Tiamiyu said.
One bereaved relative, Bose Adeshida, said she had two nieces, aged 11 and 4, who attended the school. The elder child, Amoke, died and her younger sister was being treated for head injuries, Adeshida said.
It was not clear if her dead niece, who had attended the school since the age of 2, was the same person cited by the Lagos emergency agency as having died in the collapse.
Adeshida, whose younger sister was the mother of the children, said she was angry because people had complained about the building for the last 12 years.
She said the site had been marked for demolition but developers repainted it and rented out the space.
Outside the hospital where people taken out of the building were taken for treatment, anxious relatives sobbed and ran towards ambulances as they arrived, hoping their loved ones were inside. Some fell to their knees with tears streaming down their faces.
The governor of Lagos state, Akinwunmi Ambode confirmed that some people were killed when a Nigerian building that housed a school collapsed on Wednesday.
Ambode also said the school had been set up illegally and that buildings in the area were undergoing integrity testing.
The building housed a school with about 100 pupils, they added.
A spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency’s southwest region said casualty figures were not yet available but that many people including children were believed to be trapped.