A three-storey residential building located at Swamp Street, Odunfa, Lagos Island, collapsed on Wednesday morning with some residents trapped.
An eyewitness told the News Agency of Nigeria that four of the trapped victims had been rescued alive.
Mr Sola Adeigbe, the General Manager, Lagos State Building Control Agency (LABSCA), told NAN at the scene that the collapsed building had been served notice to undergo a non-destructive integrity test.
Adeigbe said the test was to ascertain the structural stability of the building in order to know if it could be renovated or re-engineered.
“Once a building has been detected to to have a defect, we ask building owners to take the test before further actions are taken.
“We gave an ultimatum for the test which had expired before today; they responded by saying they will do the test but unfortunately the incident just occurred.
“The law is explanatory enough; if only our people will comply; it is like a suicide mission when people occupy a distressed building.
“The agency has sealed about 1,104 buildings from June till date across the state due to defective or illegal construction,’’ he said.
Also speaking, Mr Bamidele Onimode, the South-West Zonal Coordinator, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), said that the incident occurred at about 9 a.m.
“We got a call from the emergency operation centre about 9 a.m. and a rescue team was immediately mobilised to the scene.
“We have been able to rescue four occupants, and they have been taken to the clinic for further treatment.
“The combined team of NEMA, LASEMA and the construction company are trying to get the rubble together and be sure no one is trapped under,’’ Onimode said.
Meanwhile, Mr Micheal Akindele, the General Manager, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), said that the rescue was prompt due to effective activation of all emergency agencies to the scene.
“We got distress call about 9 a.m. and we immediately activated all emergency agencies including Fire Service, the Nigeria Police and Civil Defence, for effective service.
“However, the rescue operation is still ongoing, we are using all our equipment and officials to monitor the sounds underneath while the excavator is removing the concrete and blocks.
“This will ensure thorough search to ascertain that there are no more people underneath the building,” Akindele said.