At least 8 dead in building collapse in Nigeria’s Lagos

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LAGOS, NIGERIA—A four-story residential building collapsed in Nigeria’s largest city and killed at least eight people, including a child, emergency officials and an Associated Press photographer in Lagos said Wednesday.

Authorities said at least 15 people had been rescued from the rubble of the building that collapsed Tuesday afternoon.

“There was confusion everywhere. After we were able to dig out, one of my sons came out unscratched through the grace of God but one of them, my last born, 12 years of age, Emeka was crushed to death,” said a survivor, Egwumu Chienye.

Government officials did not immediately say what caused the collapse in a poor neighbourhood of the sprawling city of about 21 million people. Rescue efforts continued overnight and into Wednesday morning.

An Associated Press photographer at the scene saw three bodies pulled from the rubble Wednesday, hours after emergency officials put the death toll at five. Relatives wailed as bodies were carried away.

It was not clear how many people were living in the building. Some people were rescued before emergency officials arrived, said Adesina Tiamiyu, general manager of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency.

“Tempers rose but at least we were able to calm ourselves down,” Tiamiyu said.

Hundreds of people gathered at the scene where rescue workers and heavy machinery were sifting through the rubble.

Building collapses are not uncommon in the West African powerhouse where corruption is rampant and infrastructure often poor.

Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial hub, is said to be Africa’s largest city.