Death toll now 20 in Lagos building collapse: state govt

Many children feared dead, trapped as school building collapses in Nigeria (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Rescue efforts underway after Lagos school collapse

Twenty people are confirmed dead in the school building that collapsed in Nigeria on Wednesday, and majority are children, an official said Friday.

THEWILL recalls that Ambode had during an assessment tour to the collapsed building site vowed to demolish all illegal school buildings in the area.

Forty-three other people were rescued, Lagos State Health Commissioner Jide Idris told The Associated Press.

Shopworker Adeniyi Afolabi, who lives nearby, gave the name of the school as the Ohen Nursery and Primary, and said there were 144 pupils in attendance on Wednesday.

Rescuers and helpful residents managed to pull 37 children from the rubble alive, and 10 corpses have been recovered.

"One was described as "serious" and required surgery", he added.

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Officials are still confirming the number of dead and rescued people.

He has promised a full investigation into the tragedy and warned those responsible they would be "severely dealt with".

It is not yet known what caused the collapse of the building, which had been earmarked for demolition. "They came yesterday to mark the buildings but it's not enough time".

Building collapses are tragically common in Nigeria, where building regulations are routinely flouted.

In 2016, at least 60 people were killed when the roof collapsed at a church in the southern city of Uyo.

In September 2014, 116 people died - 84 of them South Africans - when a six-storey guesthouse collapsed at the Lagos church complex of celebrity televangelist TB Joshua.

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Government officials from Standard Organisation of Nigeria examine materials used in constructing the building that collapsed in Lagos, Nigeria, Thursday March 14, 2019.

One shop owner said she had only just paid a year's rent of 72,000 naira (USD 200, 175 euros) upfront when she was told the building was to be knocked down.

Locals, including a relative of a child who was killed, said there had been a number of building collapses in the area over the last few years. "I don't know how long it has been", she said, as her eyes filled with tears.

"His Excellency, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has given a directive to go ahead and remove over 80 structures in Lagos island before the end of the month and we are doing them in phases and today, we are removing three and I assure you that life would be better for Lagosians and the security and safety of Lagosians is eminent in the heart of the governor".

It is characterised by its Afro-Brazilian architecture, a style brought over by thousands of freed slaves who headed back home after decades working the plantations in Brazil.

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