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No Manifest from Ikoyi Building Collapse; as Death Toll Rises To 36

Ikoyi Building Collapse: Death Toll Rises To 36
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The death toll from the collapsed high-rise building on Gerrard road in Ikoyi, Lagos has increased to 36.

 

This was confirmed on Thursday morning by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

 

“So far, 36 people – 33 males and three female — have been confirmed dead, while there were nine survivors,” Acting Coordinator of the Lagos Territorial Office of the NEMA, Mr Ibrahim Farinloye wrote in a message to journalists.

 

The survivors include one female and eight male.

No Manifest from Ikoyi Building Collapse; as Death Toll Rises To 36
No Manifest from Ikoyi Building Collapse; as Death Toll Rises To 36

The operation to rescue those trapped in the rubble of the 21-storey building which collapsed on Monday afternoon, trapping dozens of people is still ongoing.

 

Families and friends of people trapped in the rubble have kept vigil at the scene, clinging onto hope and seeking answers, three days after the disaster.



Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu put the death toll at 21 when he visited the scene on Wednesday afternoon.

 

The cause of the collapse has yet to be determined, but the governor has said there were obvious violations and “mistakes from all angles” in the tragedy.

 

“This is an event that could be described clearly as a national disaster. Mistakes were made from all angles,” the governor said, adding that such an event “really should not be happening in a modern-day city like Lagos.”

 

The governor who extended his condolences to the families and people whose loved ones were affected by the tragedy also announced members of a panel of inquiry to probe the collapse.

 

He promised that those found culpable will be made to face the law.

 

Amid questions over what led to yet another building collapse in Lagos, the governor suspended the General Manager of the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), Gbolahan Oki, indefinitely on Tuesday.

 

He explained that the suspension was just a first step in the quest to hold those responsible to account.



“We will say that we had to take from the head; from the leadership of that agency,” he said on Wednesday. “And you can be rest assured that if they are other people that are found in the course of the investigation, they will face the full wrath of the law.”

 

Meanwhile, leading Safety Bodies in Nigeria have tasked the National Assembly (NASS) and the Lagos State Government (LASG) on quick passage and enforcement of building codes and regulations to ensure the safety of lives and properties.

No Manifest from Ikoyi Building Collapse; as Death Toll Rises To 36

The largest chartered professional body in Nigeria, Institute of Safety Professionals of Nigeria (ISPON) and the National Industrial Safety Council of Nigeria (NISCN) spoke while commiserating with victims’ families.

 

In a statement by ISPON signed by its President, Kaiser Ebi, while lamenting the incident, he called for more action from relevant authorities and charged the public to refrain from occupying buildings under construction and others marked for demolition.

 

The Body called for a stronger legislation to guide the construction of projects and executions of building sites while also highlighting the need discourage the ‘unscrupulous practices of quack professionals.’

 

“The Institute of Safety Professionals of Nigeria therefore urges the National Building Code Inspectorate, the Lagos State Town Planning Authority and other relevant authorities to carry out proper investigations and make these reports available to the Public for the benefits of all Lagosians and Nigerians in general.”

 

“We do not want to agree that such a building can be constructed without the input of structural Engineers, Safety Experts, Fire Protection Specialist and other civil Construction Authorities of the Lagos State Government.”



“We urge the relevant professionals to discourage their members who are in the business of selling their practicing licenses to unscrupulous developers and quack professionals just to get approvals of drawing without supervising the construction work,” the statement read.

No Manifest from Ikoyi Building Collapse; as Death Toll Rises To 36

Also, the National President of NISCN, Festus Daniel, decried the sluggishness of the National Building Code at the National Assembly and the failure of many construction firms to abide by building standards.

 

“We at NISCN are very concerned and strongly insist that the time has come to put a stop to this incidence of building collapse in the country. If professionals [elsewhere] in the world build skyscrapers and [they do not] collapse, how come we build three-story buildings and they collapse?”

 

“We cannot as a nation continue to ignore the non-passage of the building code relative to what (because is what) obtains in many other countries of the world. The NBC should, therefore, be forwarded without further delay to the National Assembly for consideration and passage to achieve the desired sanity and safety in the building industry,” he said.

 

No Manifest

Asked if there were violations of the National Building Code in the construction, the governor answered in the affirmative.

 

“I will not have the details but from preliminary investigation, yes, there would be violations. The simple thing such as not having a manifest on site is a violation of the law in itself. So, there are several violations that would have happened here.”

 

Highlighting the importance of having a manifest at a construction site, the governor explained how it has affected the rescue operation.

 

“Unfortunately, what we have seen in the last 48 hours is that we do not have the manifest of everybody that was on site which is against the law,” he said. “On a daily basis, you are meant to have a manifest of everybody that is working in a construction (site). There is no manifest.”



“And unfortunately too, it’s also been very difficult for us to identify or for anybody to come forward as, maybe a project manager or a staff of the developer or contractor.”

No Manifest from Ikoyi Building Collapse; as Death Toll Rises To 36
This aerial view taken on November 2, 2021, shows the rubble of the 21-story building that collapsed in Ikoyi, Lagos, on November 1, 2021. PHOTO: Benson Ibeabuchi / AFP

Consequently, the government and emergency workers have been “without having full information” about the construction company’s mode of operation.

 

“That is why we do not know what numbers we are dealing with, or what the mix (of workers) is, or what work they are doing there,” Governor Sanwo-Olu said.

 

“What we do know, as we speak now, is that we’ve been able to rescue nine individuals. Six of them are still in the hospital… So, we have all their names, their telephone numbers, their pictures and everything; and three that have been discharged for minor injuries.

 

“Unfortunately, we have 21 confirmed mortality meaning people that have been taken out from this site and taken to the morgue”.

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