By cristobal oji and Lukman Olabiyi
He The Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) has claimed that there were no casualties in the collapsed building on Banana Island, Ikoyi area of the state.
A statement titled ‘Situation Report on the Collapsed Building at 1st Avenue, Banana Island, Ikoyi’ on the agency’s Facebook page on Wednesday, read in part: “On arrival of the LASEMA Response Team at the scene of the incident , a six- The apartment building under construction was found to have collapsed.
“Information collected revealed that the building collapsed as a result of a truck crashing into the building. Fortunately, without loss of life. However, efforts are underway to rebuild the building to ground zero, to prevent any secondary incidents. Recovery operations are ongoing,” the statement read.
It was previously reported that a seven-story building under construction collapsed Wednesday on First Avenue in the Banana Island development. No less than seven people were rescued from the rubble. It was deduced that construction workers were going about their daily duties in the building that had been under construction for months when it suddenly collapsed at around 4:58 p.m.
It emerged that while some of the workers on the site escaped unharmed and some suffered varying degrees of injuries, some other workers, unlucky enough, were trapped beneath the rubble of the collapsed structure.
In an attempt to rescue the trapped victims, some eyewitnesses, including construction workers at the site of adjoining buildings within the facility, raised the alarm and alerted the relevant emergency agencies who rushed to the scene to begin rescue operations.
Meanwhile, there have been doubts about the state government’s claim that no lives were lost in the building collapse, especially with estate security denying journalists the opportunity to cover the rescue operation. One worker, Mr. Mathins, who works on the farm, told reporters that “people died, but the government is being cheap with the truth. Some bodies were recovered. I don’t understand why they say the rescue operation is over when it’s ongoing.”
One guy, who couldn’t say his name, but a security department staffer, was strutting around and frantically telling reporters that they were not going on the property for security reasons. Journalists were shocked that they were prohibited from covering a serious incident, such as a collapsed building. Another resident, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: “Where else in the world, except Nigeria, can you find such a scene, where an ordinary person prevents an essential institution like the media from performing a crucial public duty? ? What is there to hide on a collapsed construction site? All other essential groups have been allowed in because they exercise some level of coercive powers. But how else do you want to attract attention, if not to prevent journalists from doing their job?