One person was brought out dead, while tw0 were rescued alive as efforts continued on Wednesday to save people trapped in the Foursquare GospelChurch building that collapsed in Lagos on Tuesday.
When the incident occurred on Tuesday, one person was brought out dead while another person was rescued.
Wednesday’s development brought the number of deaths to two, while three persons were rescued.
Before the dead victim, Yusuf Sule, was brought out, there were conflicting reports on whether those trapped in the building had been completely evacuated or not.
But the evacuation of Yusuf’s body about 5.30pm put paid to all speculation.
When Yusuf was brought out, residents, who knew him, betrayed their emotion as they could not fight back their tears.
His father, Muazu Sule, was inconsolable as he insisted on seeing the body of his dead son before rescue officials took him to the Lagos State UniversityTeaching Hospital’s morgue.
After a brief meeting with some officials of the National Emergency Management Agency and the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, the elder Sule was allowed to see the corpse.
Sule, who is a water vendor, told PUNCH Metro that his deceased son was 25 years old.
Before bringing out Yusuf from the debris of the building, two other persons, whose names were given as Joe and Harrisu, had been rescued alive.
While Harrisu was rescued early in the morning of Wednesday, Joe was rescued later in the day. He sustained serious injuries on his head and some parts of the body.
NEMA’s spokesman, Mr. Ibrahim Farinloye, said officials of the agency got to scene of the collapse at 7.30am on Wednesday.
“We were bent on rescuing all those trapped in the building on Tuesday but because of downpour on Wednesday morning, we stopped operations at 4am. However, we came back again by 7.30am.”
Church was to hold bible study before collapse
It was learnt that the church was supposed to hold a bible study on Tuesday.
However, PUNCH Metro learnt that one of the church’s pastors came there prior to the collapse but had to leave for somewhere else.
The pastor, whose name was not given, was said to be shocked beyond words when he came back to see that the building had collapsed.
Building converted from bungalow
Residents said the building might have collapsed because of weak foundation as the four-storey building was converted from a bungalow.
A resident, who craved anonymity, said the building engineer just erected pillars and started building the storey-building.
“I am sure the building collapsed because of weak foundation and poor materials,” he said.
Two other buildings collapse in Lagos
Two buildings also collapsed in Ikorodu and Bariga areas of Lagos State.
Public Relations Officer, NEMA, Mr. Ibrahim Farinloye, told PUNCH Metro that in the Ikorodu incident which took place at Maya, two young boys were rescued.
Farinloye said the agency had received disturbing reports that no fewer than 35 buildings in Abeokuta, Ogun State and Lagos states were on the verge of collapse.
He said, “I have up to 40 calls and e-mails that told us about houses that should be demolished in Lagos and Ogun states. They said those houses might collapse any moment from now. We have released the information to the appropriate agencies. Between now and Friday, integrity tests will be conducted on those houses.”