…Govt to prosecute developers for flouting law
Three persons were confirmed dead and 19 others rescued after emergency and rescue operators concluded their search and excavation on the three storey building that collapsed in Ilasamaja area of Lagos State to ground zero.
The development emerged on a day the state government vowed to prosecute the developers of the 3-Floor storey building which collapsed in Ilasamaja for ‘criminally’ unseal a stop work order on the building and continued construction before eventual collapse. Investigations by Saturday Telegraph revealed that a 13-year-old boy was among those killed, while two other teenagers were among the 19 survivors, who are currently receiving treatment in an hospital.
Saturday Telegraph gathered that an adult had his legs severed (chopped off) when they were all fixing conduit pipes and plumbing materials on the building. Our correspondent reports that the rescue operation and excavations of the rubles were completed about 12noon yesterday on the structure that caved in around 3pm on Thursday,.
Those alive have been taken to Isolo General Hospital, while the dead were deposited in the hospital’s mortuary. The Public Relations Officer (PRO), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), South-West Zone, Mr. Ibrahim Farinloye, confirmed the completion to ground zero of the rescue operation.
Farinloye said NEMA had done their own duty, while investigation into the cause of the collapse rests on security agencies. It was learnt that the building has been sealed off three times by the state Building Control Agency LABSCA, yet on each occasion work had resumed on the site. Secretary to the Community Development Association (CDA), Elder Dauda Oladuni, said the building was sealed up last Thursday, only to restart yesterday before it collapsed.
“When they were doing the foundation, what I saw was a strong foundation, but along the line, people started complaining that the engineers were using 12mm rod instead of 16mm to raise a building of this nature up to three storey .Along the line also, we observed the house tilted and labourers were still working,” he said.
It was also learnt that the workers were only brought recently from Badagry and have not been familiar with any resident. Another witness, Stella Moutuo, faulted the Engineers for using substandard materials. “The fault is from the engineers, the materials they were using were not really up to standard.
Even when the building tilted, he should have discontinued the work. They went and brought more workers to continue until this unfortunate incident happened. Some of the workers were teenagers, and their faces were not familiar to us here.”
Meanwhile, the state’s Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Wasiu Anifowose, while speaking with journalists after an on-the-spot assessment of the collapsed site, said the building in question was disapproved by officials of the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), but the developers illegally broke the seal to continue work. According to the commissioner, the officers in charge of that area had two weeks before the collapse disapproved the development because it was being built contrary to building regulations.