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Nigeria: At Least 16 People Killed in Collapsed Building, Scores Missing as Search Continues

At least 16 people have died as a result of a storey building collapsing in Lagos, Nigeria.

Rescuers combed through the rubble of a High-rise building in Nigeria’s commercial capital Lagos on Tuesday in search of survivors. This was a day after the building collapsed while under construction.

As the death toll rose to 16, scores were also reported missing. In a statement, the Lagos state government said it had suspended its chief architect indefinitely and an independent investigation was launched to know the real cause of the collapse of the building.

Lagos state government had sealed off the building site in June for failing to meet structural requirements and demanded the anomaly be corrected before construction was resumed.

However, state deputy governor Obafemi Hamzat did not say whether the anomaly had been corrected before the construction resumed and the building collapsed.

Nine people have been pulled out alive as sixteen bodies were recovered, including the building assistant at the site. Excavators are still working to remove the rubble from the shattered concrete and twisted metal where the building once stood with the hopes of finding more people alive.

Hamzat said that the number of people trapped in the building was unknown but the workers cited that up to 40 people were on site when the building collapsed, much lower than the 100-number given by witnesses on Monday.

As the search continued, members of the public ran into a scuffle with government officials as they made demands to help in the search mission.

Agitated Family members whose loved ones were missing gathered nearby the site as some wailed and others conducted prayers in small groups for the safe return of their loved ones.

Building collapses are frequent in Africa’s most populous country, where regulations are poorly enforced and construction materials often substandard.  

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