Search and rescue operation is currently ongoing at Ita-faji, Lagos Island, where over 100 pupils were reportedly feared dead, the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency has said.
According to Adebayo Kehinde, spokesperson to the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, “the search and rescue operation is presently ongoing with so many victims rescued alive from the collapsed building through combined efforts of LASEMA and other emergency responders such as the Lagos State Ambulance Service, Lagos State Fire Service, Lagos State Building Control Agency, Federal Fire Service.
Others include National Emergency Management Agency, Nigeria Police Force, Rapid Response Squad, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps. Nigeria Red Cross Society, Lagos State Neighborhood and Safety Corps. The exercise is being coordinated by the General Manager Lagos State Emergency Management Agency Mr. Adesina Tiamiyu with the deployment of heavy and light rescue equipment from LASEMA and its stakeholders.”
Following the building collapse at Baden Private Primary School at no 10 Dagara Street, Itafaji area of Lagos Island, six persons, including a pregnant woman, have been confirmed dead, while 59 persons have been rescued alive.
The three-storey school building collapsed at about 10am, killing some pupils and trapping hundreds under the rubble. The pupils were said to be in their classrooms when the building suddenly caved in and buried them underneath.
Many of the pupils rescued by first responders were rushed to the Marina General Hospital. As expected, parents have stormed the school in search of their children.
Among those rescued alive were a teacher, the landlord of the building and eight tenants of the three-story building.
Checks revealed that the school occupied the third floor while tenants occupied the second floor. The ground floor consist of a block of shops.
The casualty rate was on the high side because the building has over 20 rooms with about eight persons living in a room.
However, emergency workers told correspondent that the casualty rate for pupils may not be high side as speculated because the pupils of the school were doing their Physical Exercise, so some teachers took the pupils out in batches.
Those who were outside were lucky.
According to eyewitness, the school is about four years old and used to occupy a building in front of the collapsed one before it recently moved into the collapsed building.
Preliminary investigations revealed that there were plans to construct a drainage around the old building which had just recently been dug round the building few days ago. This was what likely weakened the foundation.