A 21-storey luxury apartment building under construction in an exclusive area of Nigeria’s largest city, Lagos, has collapsed, killing at least three people and leaving dozens more missing.
- More than 100 people were inside the building when it crumbled
- The building was one of three luxury towers built in the area
- The cause of the collapse is unknown
Lagos Police Commissioner Hakeem Odumosu confirmed the deaths and said three survivors had been pulled up by the rubble.
Officials who arrived at the scene in the affluent Ikoyi neighborhood were confronted by crowds of people who expressed their anger that the rescue effort started several hours after the collapse.
Lagos State Emergency Management Agency said it had activated its contingency plan.
“All first aid personnel are on site while heavy equipment and life detection equipment have been dispatched,” the agency said in a statement.
Olayemi Bello said five of his friends were trapped in the building and that he feared the worst.
Construction worker Eric Tetteh said he and his brother had managed to escape.
But he estimated that more than 100 people were inside the building when it crumbled into a pile of rubbish.
Workers said the high-rise had been under construction for about two years and it was not immediately known what had caused the collapse.
However, such incidents are relatively common in Lagos because enforcement of building regulations is weak.
In 2019, at least eight people died after a school collapsed in Lagos.
Other observers blame the sloppy work done by private developers eager to meet the demand for housing in the megacity.
The building was part of three towers built by private developer Fourscore Homes.
In a brochure for potential customers, the company promises to offer “a stress-free lifestyle, complete with hotel flair”.
The cheapest unit was sold for $ 1.2 million.
Calls to the numbers on Fourscore Homes and the main contractor did not ring through.
ABC / wires