By John Ikani
The death toll from the collapsed high-rise building on Gerrard Road in Ikoyi, Lagos has increased to 38.
The acting Southwest Zonal Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Ibrahim Farinloye confirmed this to newsmen.
“So far, 38 people – 35 males and three females — have been confirmed dead, while there were nine survivors,” Farinloye said.
The survivors include one female and eight male.
The 21-storey building under construction in the Ikoyi District of Lagos crumbled on Monday afternoon, trapping dozens of people working on the site.
The cause of the incident is unknown, but building collapses are tragically common in Africa’s most populous country, where millions live in dilapidated properties and construction standards are routinely ignored.
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu who visited the scene on Wednesday afternoon said there were obvious violations and “mistakes from all angles” in the tragedy.
He has set up a Panel of Inquiry into the incident and promised that those found culpable after investigations by the panel, will be punished.
Meanwhile, distraught families and friends of people trapped in the rubble have been waiting for days outside the scene as rescue operations unfold.