A Vulcanizer at the scene of the collapsed seven-storey building at Oba Abiodun Oniru Road in the Iru/Victoria Island Lagos State has said that about 30 people escaped death by whiskers at the scene.
Narrating how it happened, the vulcanizer, simply identified as Tobi who operates at the gate of the collapsed building said the Site engineer forbade people from sleeping on site.
However, people found their ways into the construction site at late hours for shelter.
He further stated that about 30 people jumped to safety by falling off the topmost floor.
According to him, one of those who fell off the building alerted other people and woke them up.
He said he was sure that about 30 people escaped the final collapsed of the structure.
At press time, emergency operations have reached the last floor, but working on the worst scenario hoping that rescue of people was still possible.
How it collapsed
A neighbour living next to the building said the Penthouse of the building was the first to collapse which woke the entire community members and some of the occupants of the collapsed building up. He said, “it was then they alerted the remaining occupants to escape while the main building collapsed 20 minutes later,”
Meanwhile, the state government has ordered the arrest of the developer and building professionals at the construction site.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development.
Also, the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr Idris Salako, made this known during his visit to the site of the building collapse on Sunday.
The statement partly reads, “The Commissioner said the developer and professionals on the building were liable for their disregard for the planning laws of the state, having embarked on construction without a valid Planning Permit and ignoring official warnings against continuing the building works.
“He emphasised that under no circumstances should anyone construe the filling of Application for Permit through the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority as a ticket to commence construction as there must be a valid Planning Permit from the aforementioned agency, in addition to letter of Authorisation, stage inspection at every stage and certification by the Lagos State Building Control Agency to ensure that construction works were carried out in conformity with the approval granted.
“He noted that while the State Government was investigating the circumstances surrounding the collapse, the police had started a manhunt for the developer and all professionals involved in the project such as architects, builders or engineers who are on the project.
“The building, which was under construction, collapsed in the early hours of Sunday, killing two people so far.
Two bodies were recovered at the scene of the building collapsed.
Rescue operation was ongoing as at 8.30pm on Sunday.