Lagos, Nigeria, Nov 2 (EFE).- The death toll in the collapse of a 21-story building that was under construction on the outskirts of Lagos, Nigeria, the country’s largest city and economic capital, rose on Tuesday to 19, emergency services officials confirmed to EFE.
“We have recovered more bodies, so far we have 19. The number of (people) rescued alive remains at nine,” Ibrahim Farinloye, and spokesman for Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), told EFE.
“Search and rescue operations are continuing and we hope to get the maximum number of people possible out (of the ruins),” he added.
The building collapsed on Monday at about 2 pm in the Ikoyi district, on the city’s periphery.
At least 50 people were buried in the rubble, most of them construction workers, according to estimates that local residents shared with EFE.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday offered his condolences to those affected by the tragedy in a statement “urging the authorities to intensify their efforts in the rescue operations.”
Building collapses are common occurrences in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, a problem that is attributed to the use of poor-quality construction materials and the government’s lackadaisical inspection of such structures.
On this occasion, sources with Lagos regional authorities told local media that the construction firm, Fourscore Limited, was only authorized to build a 15-story structure and had exceeded that height without permission.
Meanwhile, the governor of Lagos state, Babajide Sanwoolu, ordered an investigation to determine the cause of the accident.
In March 2019, a three-story building collapsed in Lagos killing at least eight people, including several children.