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18 killed as new five-storey building crumbles in Lagos



  • As Army General killed in auto crash

A five-storey building under construction collapsed early yesterday in Lekki, Lagos, killing 18 people, including a woman and her child.

Thirteen people were rescued from the rubble by the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

NEMA SouthWest media coordinator Ibrahim Farinloye confirmed the death toll and the number of those rescued.

The incident occurred at Horizon 1, Lekki Gardens in Ikate, at about 3am when it was raining heavily. Many workers believed to have been trapped in the building.

It was learnt that the occupants were workers on the site and squatters who slept in the building after giving a tip to security men.

It was also learnt that the land was reclaimed in 2012 while the construction started in 2014.

Lekki Gardens, the owners of the building, claimed to have ordered stoppage of work in January at the site when it was discovered that substandard materials were being used.

As at 4:30pm, bodies were still being retrieved from the building. Residents of the area were assisting emergency workers.

Some of the victims are Beninoise.

Bereaved relatives and friends wailed as bodies were brought out.

It was also learnt that a woman and her two children who came to Nigeria on Monday from Cotonou were among those who remained trapped in the rubble last night.

The woman was said to have travelled to Lagos since her husband had not visited the family for some time..

According to an iron bender, Fidelis Anjolo, the woman did not believe her husband’s story that he was being owed as a result of which he could not  travel back to see his family.

An artisan, Mathew Ademola, who claimed that seven Beniniose were brought to work on Monday evening, said they were missing.

He said a food vendor simply identified as Hauwa remained unaccounted for.

A resident of the area, Remi, said she was searching for her brother Femi. The disturbed woman said his number was not going through.

She said: “My brother is a bricklayer. He lives in Alagbado (on the outskirts of Lagos) with his wife and children but could not afford to be going home everyday because of the transport cost.

“I don’t know what to do. I have checked the bodies but he is not there. Our sister has also been trying his phone number but it is not reachable. This is pathetic. He has been catering for our needs since the death of our parents. What will be our fate if he dies?”

A carpenter, Mutiu Gani, said he and some of his friends pay security men to sleep in the building at night, adding that four of his friends were trapped.

An interior decorator blamed those handling the estate for underpaying workers, adding that he was owed N317,000.

“I have slept under the sun and in the rain as well as suffered mosquito bites. I sold my power bank to raise transport fare to this site on Monday so that I can get my money, but they have not paid me,” he said.

“So many people, especially workers, slept here because they could not afford transport fares to their residences. When we started the work, we were paid N3,000 daily but later it was changed to N3,500 weekly. Yet, they are still owing,” he said.

A Hausa community leader Babangida Bello, who claimed his seven brothers were in the building gave their names as Umar, Ado, Alu, Muhammed, Jemilu, Sabiu and Saminu.

“One of those rescued, Hassan, who hails from Kaduna State, shouted “Allah Akbar” (God is Great) as soon as he came out.

There was a mild drama at the scene after some of the residents objected to the handing over of a body to State Environmental Health Monitoring Unit (SEHMU) officials.

They demanded that the body be handed over to them to be buried in accordance with Islamic rites.

The situation almost degenerated before a senior government official said no body would be released until an autopsy is conducted according to the law.

At the time of filing this report, rescue operations were still ongoing as some people were feared trapped in the rubble.

While about five of the rescued victims were discharged after first aid at the scene, six were taken to the Lagos Island General Hospital.

The General Manager, Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), Shola Adeigbe, said: “I learned that there was an approval for the building from the district officer.

The materials used for the construction were poor materials. It was a foundation failure because it sank before collapsing. ,We will subject the entire building to structural stability test. The only thing for us is to ensure that they construct with quality materials.”

The Commander, Rapid Response Squad (RRS), Tunde Disu, led his men to the scene to provide security. They were assisted by other security agencies, such as Nigerian Securtiy and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) and Neighbourhood Watch.

A survivor, Tunde Busari, a welder from Ibadan, said the beam was faulty and he complained about it three months ago.

“I have been working with Engineer Henry for a long time. The error on the building came from the piling. It was noticed three months ago and I told them and they brought another contractor to do supporting piling. “Part of the beam was going down. The engineer that was brought gave assurance that it won’t happen again. The guy who was brought out dead with me is a carpenter. His name is Sunday and he came from Abeokuta.”

A sobbing woman said her son Yinka was among the victims.

The woman, who spoke in Yoruba, said: “Yinka is my first born and his father died last year. Yinka’s girlfriend called me before I came here.”

A man, Bangboye Olalekan, said he was looking for Sunday Dada and Ahmed, who are both carpenters.

“I was in Abeokuta, Ogun State, when I got a call that the building where they were working had collapsed and that they died. I came here to look for them. We are trying to locate their bodies,” he said.

The rescue operation stopped at 7:15pm.

In the meantime, Nigerian Army Chief of Training and Operations, Maj Gen. Yushau Mahmood Abubakar, yesterday, died in a road mishap at Benishiek town, Maiduguri-Damaturu road. His death was confirmed by the Nigerian Army through its Director of Army Public Relations, DAPR, Colonel Sani Usman.

Death of the senior army officer came barely 48 hours after the Minister of State for Labour, James Ocholi, his wife and son, died in a car crash at Kaduna-Abuja road. Abubakar was Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, before his recent deployment in Army Headquarters, Abuja. The accident also involved Acting General Officer Commanding, GOC, 3 Division, Brig. Gen. Muhammed Aliyu, who sustained injuries and is currently receiving medical treatment. The cause of the accident has not been ascertained, but both GOC and his driver, including the corpse of the late Mahmood Abubakar were brought to the Emergency Ward of General Sani Abatcha Specialist Hospital with heavy military presence, before they were conveyed back to Maiduguri to be flown to Abuja.

It was learnt that Maj. Gen. Mahmood Abubakar was on his way to Buni Yadi, Yobe State, to graduate a special military force. He was received at the Maiduguri International Airport by the GOC before they embarked on the illfated journey. Sympathisers had besieged the General Sani Abacha Specialist Hospital, where the deceased and injured GOC were brought.

Some of the early callers at the hospital were Yobe State Deputy Governor, Abubakar Aliyu; Secretary to the State Government, Baba Malam Wali, Police Commissioner Zanna Muhammed Ibrahim, Head of Service, Dauda Yahaya and other residents. Aliyu expressed shock over the death of the officer, describing it as a shock and loss to the military and the nation in general.

Nation with additional report from National Mirror


17 die, 3 injured in Kano auto crash



17 die, 3 injured in Kano auto crash

 Seventeen persons died and three others were injured in an auto crash in Yaura village, on Wudil-Bauchi Road, in Albasu Local Government Area.

The Kano State Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps, Mr. Ibrahim Sallau Abdullahi, confirmed the incident in a statement signed by the Public Relations Officer, Abdullahi Labaran, on Thursday in Kano.

He said that the accident involved a Honda Accord with registration number NSR 81 VW and a Volkswagen Sharon (bus) with registration number NNG 275 XA.

According to the statement, the accident, in which one person escaped unhurt, occurred on Wednesday afternoon.

“Motorists passing by informed our patrol operatives at about 14.20p.m. Upon receiving the information, we quickly dispatched our personnel and vehicle to the scene of the incident to rescue the victims at 14.25p.m,” Abdullahi said.

The sector commander said that the crash occurred as a result of excessive speed, wrongful overtaking which led to a loss of control, and a head-on collision, with one of the vehicles bursting into the fire immediately.

“The crash involved a total of 21 passengers in the two vehicles, out of which 11 adult males, five adult females and one male child lost their lives while three others sustained serious injuries — one adult male, one adult female and one male child,” he said.

Abdullahi said the injured were taken to Wudil General Hospital for treatment, while the corpses of the deceased were handed over to relatives of the victims.

He advised motorists to obey traffic rules and regulations, to avoid needless deaths and injuries on our roads.

The sector commander commiserated with the families of the victims and prayed for the repose of the souls of the departed.

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Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway: Truck crushes commercial motorcyclist, passenger driving one-way



Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway: Truck crushes commercial motorcyclist, passenger driving one-way

A commercial motorcyclist and his passenger, on Wednesday, were killed, after colliding with a truck, at Bible College area on Lagos-Abeokuta expressway.

The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Sector Commander in Ogun, Mr. Ahmed Umar, confirmed the accident to newsmen on Wednesday in Ota, Ogun.

Umar said that the accident, which happened at about 9.10 a.m., involved four people, a vehicle and a Bajaj motorcycle.

He said that the motorcycle, with no registration number, drove against traffic and collided with a Daf truck, marked: KTG 941 YG, leading to the death of the Okada rider and the passenger, while two others were unhurt.

“The corpses of the dead had been deposited at the morgue of the General Hospital, Ifo,” he said.

The sector commander blamed the accident on excessive speeding and route violation.

He advised motorists and okada riders to desist from excessive speeding to avoid unnecessary loss of life.

Umar also cautioned them to refrain from driving against traffic to prevent mishaps on the highway. 

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10 roasted on Oyo-Ogbomoso Road; 5 burnt beyond recognition on Badagry-Seme Expressway



Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway: Truck crushes commercial motorcyclist, passenger driving one-way

 No fewer than 10 passengers were burnt to death on Oyo-Ogbomoso road on Thursday, just as five persons were burnt beyond recognition in a fatal accident on the Badagry-Seme Expressway in Lagos on Thursday.

The passengers, involved in a head-on collision involving a Mazda and a Toyota Hiace passenger buses, were burnt beyond recognition.

The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) confirmed the incident on Thursday in Ibadan.

The FRSC Sector Commander in the state, Joshua Adekanye, said the incident occurred at about 5.30 a.m. around Kilometres 12 Ijawaya on Oyo-Ogbomoso road.

He said that the buses with registration numbers LEM 963 XA and NSR 222 ZS were coming from Lagos and Nasarawa states respectively.

Adekanye said that the vehicles went on flame immediately resulting in the burning of the occupants.

He attributed the cause of the accident to speeding and overloading.

He called on motorists to always shun night travelling, speeding and overloading, adding that the fatality would have been reduced if the drivers were not on night journeys.

In another development, five persons were burnt beyond recognition while three others sustained injuries in a fatal accident on the Badagry-Seme Expressway in Lagos, also on Thursday.

*The remains of the Honda Pilot Jeep involved in a fatal accident on Badagry-Seme Expressway on Thursday.

Mr Sulaiman Taiwo, Unit Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) at Badagry, confirmed the accident.

He told newsmen that the accident occurred at Akoro Village, on the Badagry-Sème Expressway.

The accident involved a Honda Pilot SUV with registration number LSR 772 HE and motorcycle with an unidentifiable registration number.

Taiwo said the driver of the Honda Pilot must have been over-speeding and lost control before hitting the motorcycle laden with petrol.

“The driver of the jeep collided with the motorcycle resulting in an explosion.

10 roasted on Oyo-Ogbomoso Road; 5 burnt beyond recognition on Badagry-Seme Expressway

“By the time we got to the scene, the raging fire had burnt three persons beyond recognition, while two others lost their lives during the rescue operation.

“Three persons that survived the inferno were taken to the General Hospital in Badagry while the five corpses were deposited at the mortuary in the same hospital,’’ he said.

Taiwo added that the prompt response by personnel of the Customs Service, Fire Brigade, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and the police have restored normalcy to the area.

 Speaking later with our correspondent, the Medical Director, General Hospital, Badagry, Dr Olatunde Bakare, said some relations of the dead had reported claiming the bodies, while the three survivors were receiving treatment at the Emergency Unit of the hospital.

He urged motorists and other road users to stop carrying petrol inside jerry cans in their vehicles as the rate at which the hospital was treating victims of fire incidents was alarming.

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