Published On: Thu, Mar 10th, 2016

34 Dead in Lagos building collapse: Rescuers

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LAGOS: Thirty-four people died in the collapse of a five-storey building under construction in an upmarket area of Nigeria’s biggest city, Lagos, a rescue official said on Wednesday.

“Operations concluded at 7:20 pm (1820 GMT) with 34 dead and 13 rescued alive after reaching ground zero,” Ibrahim Farinloye, from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), told AFP in a text message.

“Investigation on the cause of the collapse has started by various federal and state agencies,” he added.

The fatal collapse happened after heavy rains in the early hours of Tuesday in the southeastern district of Lekki, which is home to some of the most expensive real estate in the city.

Lekki, made up of sprawling estates of gated communities with US-style suburban homes, has developed rapidly in recent years into a preferred location for wealthier Nigerians and expatriates.

Some detached houses can sell for millions of dollars.

Building collapses happen frequently in densely populated areas of Lagos, which is home to some 20 million people. Poor workmanship and materials, and a lack of official oversight are often blamed.

But collapses are rarer in wealthier districts.

The Lagos State government said in a statement that preliminary reports indicated work on the building was illegal but the order had been flouted.

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Syed Ammar Alavi

- is Lahore (Pakistan) based journalist & writer with 25-year experience in print, wire and broadcast forms of journalism. His major fields of interest are politics, film,tv,sports, climate change and technology