People buried under the collapsed luxury high-rise in Nigeria are calling for help

But on Monday, this more than 20-storey half-built building in Nigeria’s economic center became the scene of tragedy after the entire structure collapsed, killing at least ten people.

Nine more survivors have so far been pulled out of the wreck, according to Lagos State Deputy Governor Obafemi Hamzat.

Tuesday morning, voices could be heard shouting for help under rubble and twisted metal. Emergency teams are now in a race to rescue an unknown number of people still trapped under what was supposed to be a “7-star hotel experience,” according to brochures from the building’s developers Fourscore Homes.

The incident has given rise to concern over construction practices and regulatory control in Nigeria, where a number of buildings have collapsed in recent years.

It has also brought fresh heartache to the dozens of spectators who gathered at the devastated site on Tuesday. Among them were despairing relatives eagerly awaiting news of their loved ones.

Spectators await news of survivors of a building collapse in Lagos, Nigeria, on November 2.

One of those spectators, Farati Bakare, was waiting for news about his uncle, who he said had visited the place yesterday.

But as the hours slip by, their hopes for good news fade as well.

Ibrahim Farinloye, of the national agency coordinating the rescue operations, told reporters gathered at the scene on Tuesday that he had spoken to people trapped inside the building and that he still hopes more will be brought out alive.

“We heard voices coming in and out,” Farinloye said. “After communicating with them, we set off. Two excavators were deployed to the area.”

Anger and confusion

A bricklayer who gave his name as Dragon said he had gone on a errand when he saw the building collapse. He described seeing a corpse pulled from the rubble and people covered in dust in the wake.

Dragon said he knew of at least seven other masons who were still missing in the disaster.

Another missing person is 26-year-old Zainab Oyindamola Sanni, who performs her mandatory national youth service with FourScore, the developers of the building, her family told CNN.

The young woman’s brother, Fawaz Sanni, said she was among those spoken to by rescue workers and had responded. “They told me she’s still alive,” he said.

People go to rescue workers from the rubble of the collapsed building in Lagos, Nigeria.
Locals are watching the wreck of the destroyed building.

Locals criticized the slow response from emergency services in the wake of Monday’s collapse, with a witness telling CNN “we’ve been waiting four or five hours now!”

Another man shouted, “People are dying!”

In desperation, a number of people grabbed people out with their bare hands, pulling three people up from the rubble before the emergency services arrived on Monday.

Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) said it activated its emergency response plan and sent excavation equipment to the site.

The Nigerian Red Cross is also assisting the local authorities.

Questions about collapse

The building, located on Gerald Road in the city’s affluent Ikoyi district, is a construction site for luxury apartments. It had been under construction for two years.

A brochure for the building shows an artist’s impression of sleek white buildings with rooftop swimming pools and penthouses costing $ 5 million.

Deputy Governor Hamzat said the building, known as the “360 Degrees Tower”, was sealed by planning agents in July due to building violations.

A Lagos State spokesman identified the owner of the building as Femi Osibona of Fourscore Homes, saying Osibona “took corrective action when this incident occurred.”

It is unknown what caused the building to collapse.

Rescue workers carry a body at the site of a collapsed building under construction in Lagos, Nigeria.

The investigation into the cause of the crash is underway and on-site officials are assessing possible damage to the surrounding structures, according to a statement from the Lagos state government.

CNN contacted Fourscore Heights Limited, Fourscore Homes’ parent company, but had not received a response at the time of release.

Building collapse in Nigeria has increased in recent years, often due to non-compliance with regulatory controls, poor knowledge of construction and non-standard building materials.

In 2019, the collapse of two separate buildings, including one with a school, left dozens of people dead.

An expert told CNN at the time that more than 1,000 buildings were in danger of collapsing in Lagos.

CNN’s Eliza Mackintosh, Wayne Chang and Katie Polglase contributed to this report

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