The death toll in a building collapse in Lagos, Nigeria, has risen to 22 on Monday as rescue workers dig through the rubble to search for survivors. Experts say the collapse was likely the result of poor construction and poor oversight, and they are concerned that such a catastrophe could happen again.
The search for survivors continued on Wednesday at the site of a building collapse in Ikoi, an upper-class area in Lagos state.
So far nine survivors have been pulled out of the rubble and taken to hospitals. Most of the points are reported missing.
Search teams have found 22 bodies.
On Tuesday, Lagos state governor Babajide Sanvolu visited the site and subsequently suspended the state’s building control chief. Lagos State also launched an independent investigation into the fall.
But Festus Adebayo, founder of the Housing Development Advocacy Network, who visited the site, said the authorities were reckless.
“We are reckless, we are just reckless. We have recommended, there is building code and we have said that there is a jail sentence of 21 years, but no one has been jailed, all this media hype, noise, noise, noise. It is,” Adebayo said.
Lagos authorities halted construction of the building in June for not meeting standard structural requirements.
David Majekodunmi, the local president of the Nigerian Institute of Architects, said the institute did not know whether the problem was corrected before asking workers to return to the site.
“You seal a site, there are definitely procedures you need to go through before you can open the site. We can’t tell right now whether the process is complete or not,” he said.
Lagos officials say they are assessing the potential impact of the collapse on nearby structures.
Building collapses are, unfortunately, not uncommon in the state of Lagos, which has a population of 21 million people and thousands of high-rise buildings.
Adebayo said these disasters are not good for investment or business.
“How do you think the whole world will see us? What impression will they have about our professionals? You will find that not many people will be going for tall buildings,” Adebayo said.
On Tuesday, rescue workers received several calls from people trapped under the rubble. There were no new calls on Wednesday and experts say that as the days go by, the chances of survivors of the trapped victims are slim.