Tears flowed freely as residents and passers-by gathered on Wednesday at Mercy Street, Ita Faji, Lagos Island following the collapse of a three-storey building, which trapped about 150 pupils and some residents.
As at press time, nine dead bodies had been recovered from the rubble, while search-and-rescue efforts continued at a frenetic pace.
The building served both as a school and residence.
The incident occurred at about 10.30 am, while school was in progress.
Morning Mail learnt that that the third and fourth floors of the building belonged to a school, simply called ‘Aunty Esther’, while the other floors were residential.
Among the nine bodies were students of the school, while those injured were taken to a nearby hospital.
The bodies of the dead were deposited at the morgue of the General Hospital, Lagos Island.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and his Deputy, Mrs. Idiat Adebule, have visited the scene of the unfortunate incident.
Heavy duty equipment was deployed to assist sympathisers using bare hands to carry out rescue operation.
Many people were still trapped in the rubble at press time.
It was gathered that the school had more than 150 pupils including toddlers in the Day Care section.
It was also gathered that the building was old but recently renovated.
Some people in the community say the building had been marked for demolition but was never demolished until its eventual collapse.
The President, National Association of Proprietors’ of Private Schools Lagos State, Alhaji Wasiu Adumadeyin, disowned the school saying the owners are not members of the Association.
He said when he heard of the collapse of the school, he thought it was a member’s school in the neighborhood only to discover it was another school.
Many people in the community who spoke to Morning Mail want the government to conduct integrity tests on buildings in the area because of incidents of frequent collapse.
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