At least six people died and 100 more were missing in Nigeria’s commercial capital of Lagos after a multi-storey luxury apartment block that was under construction collapsed, trapping workers beneath a pile of rubble.
Desperate relatives waited for news of missing people after the 21-storey high-rise fell down on Monday at around 1.30pm in Ikoyi, Lagos.
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari called for rescue efforts to be stepped up as emergency workers saved four people and worked through the night using excavators to sift rubble in search of more survivors.
Brothers Fawas Sanni, 21 and Afolabi Sanni, 17, were waiting for news of their 25-year-old-sister Zainab, who has worked on the construction site for just two months.
‘Our sister is inside,’ said Fawas, in tears.
‘I was the last one who to spoke to her before she went to work yesterday morning,’ said the older brother, covering his head with his hands.
Across the street from the site, Moses Oladipo, 65, was waiting for news from his 50-year-old son, who has three children.
‘He just came here to visit his friend, before his flight back to the US where he lives,’ said the father, crouching on the ground, close to the entrance.
‘They rescued a man last night. I thought it was him, but no. I still have hope.’
The collapsed building had been under construction for around two years and was part of three towers being built by private developer Fourscore Homes, which promised in a client brochure to provide ‘a stress-free lifestyle, complete with a hotel flair’.
The cheapest unit was selling for $1.2 million (£879,000).
Olayemi Bello said five of his friends were trapped in the building at the time of the collapse and said he feared the worst.
‘When they work finish, they will come outside and they will play with us and talk about the work.
‘Now, nobody,’ he said.
‘All of them are dead.
Lagos state police said it was too early to determine why the Ikoyi building collapsed.
However, Lagos emergency management agency manager Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu said there were rules broken during its construction.
He said: ‘We are going to get to the roots of the matter to prevent a recurrence.
‘So far six bodies have been recovered, four pulled out alive while three others with minor injuries have been treated.’
He added: ‘All responders are on the ground as search and rescue is ongoing.’