The Lagos State Government has launched a probe into the collapse of a seven-storey building under construction on Banana Island, Ikoyi, following a directive by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, made the position known in a statement on Thursday.
Omotoso said nobody died in the incident, which occurred on Wednesday as at the time of the report, adding that 25 people were rescued from the site, which the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency scanned with a high-precision 3-D Laser Imagery System for life, and found no evidence of anyone trapped in the rubble.
A roll call has also been done by the site supervisors, with everyone accounted for.
Omotoso said LASEMA has continued with the excavation of the site, using the architectural designs.
He said the site has been divided into quadrants for a painstaking search and rescue operation, adding that quadrants 2 and 3 have been levelled to ground zero, with the search operation completed.
Quadrants 1 and 4, he said, are ongoing.
He said the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Bamgbose-Martins, an engineer and Special Duties Special Adviser, Mobolaji Ogunlende, are co-ordinating the operations.
He said LASEMA Permanent Secretary, Dr. Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, is leading the search-and-rescue efforts, while the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, has visited the site and hospitals where victims of the incident were admitted.
Of the 25 persons rescued by LASEMA, 16 with moderate injuries were admitted at General Hospital, Odan, Lagos Island and Police Hospital, Falomo for treatment and care.
Nine others with minor injuries such as bruises, were treated and discharged at the site by Lagos State Ambulance Services (LASAMBUS).
Of the 16 persons on admission, 11 were taken to Police Hospital, Falomo.
Eight of the 11 persons have been treated and discharged.
Some are required to come for daily follow-up and management.
Three with various injuries, including blunt traumatic chest injury, knee injuries and deep lacerations, are on admission.
At the General Hospital Odan, Lagos Island, there are five patients with more serious injuries.
Omotoso added: “The State Government, as a matter of policy, will be responsible for the emergency treatment and care, including the medical bills of the patients on admission.
“It will also provide a post-trauma counselling support and care for all victims through the Lagos MiND programme (Mental Health in Development) – a free mental health counselling and support service provided by the Ministry of Health.
“Preliminary investigations have shown that the incident occurred during concrete casting.
“Eyewitnesses said one of the concrete mixer trucks rammed into some load-bearing columns of the building, causing a loud bang and leading to the collapse.
“The building was hitherto sealed by the Lagos State Government for not having the approval to commence construction, but the developers continued to build, hiding under the security of their estate/gated community.
“Mr Governor has directed that all developments on Banana Island be placed on hold, subject to a comprehensive audit by the officials of the Lagos State Building Control Agency.
“This is to determine:
- how many buildings are being constructed without approval from the Lagos State Government; and
- if all approved buildings are being built in line with the approval limits provided.
“This exercise will be extended to other estates and gated communities.”