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Wednesday, 9 March 2016

TRAGIC! 18 PEOPLE DECLARED DEAD IN A 5-STOREY BUILDING COLLAPSE...READ MORE

The Residents of Ikate Elegushi area of Lagos State were thrown in a tragedy when a 5-Storey building suddenly collapse while under construction, killing approximately 18 people including a woman and her 3-year-old child.


Most of the victims are labourers who were waiting to collect their wages from the Contractor, as some of the were not paid for many days and they were owed up forthy thousand naira but a food vender was among those that were trapped with 13 others rescued but in critical conditions in the hospital.

Meanwhile, the building located at Horizon 1, Lekki Gardens which was under construction,  was part of the phase 3 project by the Lekki Garden Estate, caved in at about 4.10am after a heavy down pour . Report said up to 100 masons were working at the site .

Many Artisan were reported to be working on the site and one of them 'Mr. Fidelis Anjolo' spoke with Vanguard correspondent about the woman that died with her child, saying “She thought  that her husband was lying that they were not paid for three months and decided to see things for  herself. Her husband even borrowed N4,000 from five of us, with a  promise to pay at the end of March. His wife came on Sunday night and was to leave yesterday morning. They used to sleep  outside but yesterday they  slept outside because of the rain.‘’

Apart from Artisan Fidelis Anjolo, Artisan Kingsley Mathew narrated that seven citizens of  Benin Republic arrived  Monday evening to start work on Tuesday (yesterday). “But at the moment, we cannot say where they are. They might be trapped in the building. He added that “Government should do something  on issue of collapse buildings in Lagos because the magnitude of death is much. We have families to cater for that is why we are here. They owe most of us here. Hauwa, a food vendor, who hails from Nasarrawa  State was also in the building,” he added.

Vanguard gathered that an indigene of Kaduna State who was safely rescued was screaming ‘ALLAH AKBAR’ ( God is Great).”

Painfully, one of the Residents 'Remi' who was sheding tears explained, “My brother is a bricklayer. He lives in Alagbado with his wife and children but he couldn’t go home everyday because of transport fare. I don’t know what to do. I have checked the recovered  bodies but his  is not one of them. Our elder sister has also been trying his mobile line but it is not  reachable. This is pathetic. He has been catering  for our needs since the death of our parents. What will be our fate if he dies?” while a Carpenter also said not less than four of his friends have been trapped in the building.

Confirming the fact that the workers were owed for many days is a worker 'Seyi Oluwafemi' who spoke with newsmen extensively that “ I worked as a carpenter. Carpenters were paid N2,500, bricklayers, N3,000 while labourers were paid N2,000 each daily. At a point, the contractors started defaulting in payment. Some workers who died  were waiting to collect  their wages and because they were not paid, they had no choice than to sleep there until the following day. As I speak, the contractors are owing me three weeks wages. I left when it accumulated to three weeks. About 50 workers were deplored to the site on Monday to continue work on it. The number of casualties would not have been much, if workers normally go home daily. Most of them stay till weekend before leaving.”

Another worker also narrated to newsmen that “I do interior decoration job. As I speak I have not been paid. The debt went this bad after the introduction of weekly payment. Because of that, several labourers resorted to leaving on  weekly basis.

In addition, Mr. Angelo who is a Resident made it known that ” the building collapse as a result of the inferior materials used and I blame it on the contractors and the engineers who only think about themselves alone imagine you working and not being paid." He added that ”Sometimes, the contractors will go to neighbouring countries to bring workers to work if we refuse to work because of lack of payment I learnt this work in Ghana i stop working here because they don’t give us quantity material to work with and they short pay.

Besides, Mr. Micheal Akindele who is the General Manager, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, said that   “We moved here immediately  information reached us. Rescue operation started  at  about 4:45am . So far, 18  were recovered  dead, while 13 were rescued alive.

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