At least two people were injured yesterday during a demolition exercise on one of the identified distressed buildings at Oke-Arin area of Lagos Island. The report of a fresh building collapsed had gone viral on social media and online newspapers, but New Telegraph’s findings revealed that the building in question gave way during demolition and injured two people.
According to residents, part of the building fell on four members of the demolition squad. Residents rushed to their rescue. Two were injured and taken to hospital, while the other two didn’t sustain any injury.
Another resident said: “The two adjacent structures had been marked since 2016 for demolition by the Lagos State government. But they were left untouched till last Saturday when officials of the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LABCA) re-marked it and brought four Hausa labourers to demolish on Egatin Street. While doing so, the first floor caved in, trapping two of the workers. This happened between 12.30p.m. and 1p.m.
“The two workers were rescued by street urchins. The vehicle of the Neighbourhood Watch men in the area was used to convey them to the General Hospital, Odan, Lagos Island. We learnt that the victims suffered minor injuries and had been responding to treatment.” The building located at No 16 Egatin, was among the structures being demolished since Sunday.
The building was among the five additional weak structures demolished by officials of LABCA. The Community Development Association Chairman of Oke-Arin area said that the building had been marked for demolition, adding that the demolition exercise was ongoing when the building caved in.
He said: “The building collapsed during the demolition not that it collapsed by itself. They should have commenced the demolition exercise from the top instead of starting from the ground floor.”
Another resident said that the location of the building was not in the open. He appealed to the government’s agencies in charge of building to go beyond approval and ensure proper monitoring of the buildings. The General Manager of the Lagos Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Mr. Tiamiyu Adesina, denied the report of fresh building collapse on Lagos Island, saying that a scavenger only got injured during demolition of the buildings marked for demolition.
He said: “There was nothing like a fresh building collapse in Lagos. A scavenger only got injured during demolition exercise on Egatin Street.” Mrs. Titi Ajirotutu of the Public Affairs Unit, LABCA, also denied fresh building collapse, saying that there was no way a building would collapse on the street where demolition exercise was going on without her knowledge. She said: “We’re currently demolishing buildings at Oke Arin and some electronic media journalists are with us. The demolition exercise is part of our ongoing removal of distressed buildings. The report of fresh collapse is not true.”