Boy, 7, walks out of collapsed building

…death toll rises to eight

Sympathisers and rescuers were pleasantly surprised yesterday when a sevenyear- old boy walked out of the rubble of a building at 3, Massey Street, Lagos Island, which collapsed on Tuesday.

The boy, Ademola Afolayan, who brought the number of survivors to 15, walked out about 4:28a.m. after the bulldozer paved the way for him.

This came about 14 hours after the building caved in. This came as death toll rose to eight yesterday from the initial two who were brought out dead from the rubble on Tuesday night.

The General Manager, Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), Olalekan Shodeinde, appealed to building owners and developers to desist from adding other floors or structures to old and existing buildings without carrying out a thorough engineering appraisal and integrity test on the structure.

Shodeinde said the collapsed four-floor structure, which was built with bricks, collapsed owing to foundation failure when the bearing capacity of the soil could not sustain the structure.

This, according to him, was because of the load being transferred from the additional load of communication mast erected on the building about two weeks ago.

Shodeinde explained that the foundation gave way and the building collapsed following the load.

The general manager added that after several inspection rounds in the past the building did not show any sign of distress even though the structural members were constructed with gravel instead of granite.

He said: “The additional load imposed on the structure added to the design capacity and loading being transferred through the structural members made the building heavier than the capacity of the soil which is the ultimate load bearer.”

Shodeinde said that no responsible government would watch her citizens die avoidable death without taking precautionary measures to stop it.

He added: “The spate of building collapse in the past years is a re-awaking to the fact that both the government and the people need to collaborate more than ever not only to stem building collapse but also to ensure that people build in compliance with physical planning laws.

This is attainable when government and the people work together and build right.”

Meanwhile, confirming the figures of rescued and survivors in the collapsed building, the General Manager, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Mr. Tiamiyu Adeshina, said that 15 occupants survived while eight people lost their lives.

He said rescue operations had been suspended since the rescuers had reached the ground floor

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