Nine more people have so far been rescued from the rubble, according to Lagos State Deputy Governor Obafemi Hamzad.
On Tuesday morning, voices calling for help were heard beneath the rubble and crumbling metal mounds. Emergency crews are now rushing to rescue an unknown number of people still trapped as a “7-star hotel experience”, according to the publications of the building’s developers, Forcecore Homes.
The incident has raised concerns about construction practices and regulatory restrictions in Nigeria, where several buildings have collapsed in recent years.
It has also given new heartache to the dozens of spectators who gathered at the site of the disaster on Tuesday. Among them, relatives who were eagerly waiting for the news of their loved ones were upset.
One of the visitors, Faradi Bagare, was waiting for his uncle’s message that he had visited the site yesterday.
But as the hours go by, their faith in the gospel also fades.
Ibrahim Farinloy, of the National Agency for Coordinating Rescue Operations, told reporters at the scene on Tuesday that he had spoken to people trapped inside the building and hoped many more would be brought out alive.
“We heard voices coming in and out,” Farinloy said. “After contacting them, we went into action. Two excavators were sent to the area.”
Anger and confusion
A mason, who gave his name as Dragon, said he went to work when he saw the building collapse. He described seeing a dead body from the rubble, followed by people covered in dust.
Dragon said he knew of seven other masons who were still missing in the disaster.
Another person who went missing was 26-year-old Jain Ointamola Sunny, whose family told CNN that he was carrying out his compulsory national youth service with Forcecore.
The young woman’s brother, Fawaz Sunny, said he was one of those spoken to by rescue workers and responded. “They told me she was still alive,” he said.
Locals criticized the slow response of emergency services after Monday’s crash, with one witness telling CNN “We’ve been waiting four or five hours now!”
Another man shouted: “People are dying!”
In desperation, three people were dragged from the rubble before emergency services arrived on Monday, and several people dug up people with their bare hands.
The Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) implemented its emergency response plan and dispatched excavation equipment to the scene.
The Nigerian Red Cross also assists the authorities.
Questions about the decline
Located on Gerald Road in the city’s affluent Igbo neighborhood, the building is a construction site for luxury apartments. It has been under construction for two years.
A brochure for the building features an artist’s look at elegant white buildings with rooftop swimming pools and penthouses at a cost of $ 5 million.
The building, known as the “360 Degree Tower,” was sealed by planning agents in July due to irregularities, Deputy Governor Hamzat said.
A Lagos State spokesman identified the owner of the building as Forsyth O’Fone of Forcecore Homes and said O’Connor had “taken appropriate action when the incident occurred.”
The cause of the building’s collapse is unknown.
According to the Lagos State Government, an investigation into the cause of the collapse is underway, and ground officials are assessing potential damage to surrounding structures.
CNN contacted Forcecore Heights Ltd., the parent company of Forcecore Homes, but did not receive a response at the time of publication.
Building demolition in Nigeria has increased in recent years, largely due to non-compliance with regulatory regulations and poor knowledge of construction and substandard building materials.
In 2019, dozens of people died when two separate buildings, including a school, collapsed.
An expert at the time told CNN that more than 1,000 buildings in Lagos were in danger of collapsing.
CNN’s Elisa McIntosh, Wayne Chang and Katie Polglais contributed to the report.
“Communicator. Music aficionado. Certified bacon trailblazer. Travel advocate. Subtly charming social media fanatic.”