Ikoyi collapsed building: Death toll rises to 19

Ikoyi Building Collapse x copy x

Lagos State Government has promised to take full responsibility for the treatment and medical bills of rescued victims of the Ikoyi building collapse.

Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat disclosed this today during his visit to some of the rescued victims of the Ill-fated incident who are on admission at the General Hospital, Lagos.

Hamzat who spoke to press men after the visit explained that nine people, all male, have so far been rescued from the debris of the building adding that three of the rescued victims were treated and discharge on the spot while the remaining six are presently on admission receiving treatment at the Medical Emergency (LASEMS) unit of the General Hospital, Lagos.

While noting that the admitted victims are responding well to treatment and doing well, the deputy Governor noted that the injuries sustained by those presently on admission are minor injuries which are not life threatening

He however mentioned that some casualties of the collapsed building who were brought in to the hospital dead have been deposited at the morgue

He said: “So we have six people in here, all male, and thankfully they are doing well. The doctors have told us their state; they have minor injuries and nothing life threatening thankfully. They are being treated and of course as you know, the Lagos State Government is taking full responsibility for their treatment.

We have their names and we will be getting in touch with their families. Nine people were rescued, six are here now, three people have gone home and as you know we have 10 dead bodies taken out of the place

Hamzat expressed deep sympathy with victims, assuring them of adequate care during the course of their treatment.

Speaking in the same vein, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Olusegun Ogboye who accompanied the Deputy Governor on the visit assured the rescued victims of quality and optimal health care service at the facility stressing that trained medical personnel are on ground to aid their recovery process.

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The Deputy Governor was joined on his visit by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr. Idris Salako and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mrs. Abiola Kosegbe. The team was received by the Deputy Medical Director of the General Hospital Lagos, Dr. Abiola Mafe

Meanwhile, the Lagos State Government is setting up an independent panel to probe the collapse of the 21-storey building on Gerrard Road, Ikoyi.

Aside this, the State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has ordered the immediate suspension of the General Manager of the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), Mr. Gbolahan Oki indefinitely.

According to a statement signed by the State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, members of the panel will be drawn from the Nigeria Institute of Architects (NIA), Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE) and other professional bodies

It read in part, “It will independently investigate the remote and immediate causes of the incident and make recommendations on how to prevent future occurrence. The investigation is not part of the internal probe already being conducted by the government.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has said the government will surely find out what went wrong and punish those indicted. The Governor, as a first step, has directed that the General Manager of the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), Mr. Gbolahan Oki, an architect, be suspended from work immediately. The suspension is indefinite

More equipment and personnel have been deployed in the site to save more lives.

“Nine persons – all men – have been pulled out of the rubble alive. They have been taken to the hospital. Unfortunately, 14 others were brought out dead – as at 2pm.

“Mr. Sanwo-Olu thanks all first responders and those who have joined the rescue efforts, including construction giants Julius Berger, Chinese Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

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“A help desk is to be set up at the site for people seeking information about their relations who may have been involved in the incident. The media are hereby notified that the government will be releasing information whenever the need arises to avoid any sensational reporting of the unfortunate incident.”

Meanwhile as rescue operation continued at the site of collapsed building entered day two, the number of persons rescued alive have increased to nine while, 14 dead bodies have been evacuated so far.

Lagos State Deputy Governor, Obafemi Hamzat who was at the scene of the incident on Tuesday while, briefing journalists on update of the rescue operation around 12 noon, confirmed that two out of the nine survivors have been discharged.

Hamzat who spoke on behalf of the State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, stated that the state government is hopeful that more people will be found alive, urging onlookers around the incident site to allow responders do their work effectively.

The Deputy-Governor dispelled the rumour that the initial approval for the building was 15 storeys, noting that what the government approved was actually twenty-one.

According to him, the construction site had earlier been sealed in July till November, to allow for structural adjustment by the developer, stating that there are procedures to be followed in demolishing a property for non-compliance

The Deputy-Governor also visited the Lagos Island General Hospital, to check on the survivors.

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By Okoye David
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