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Monday January 17th, 2022 5:35PM
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21-story building under construction in Nigeria collapses

By The Associated Press

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — At least two people were killed and dozens more remain missing after the collapse of a 21-story apartment building being built in an upscale area of Nigeria's largest city, witnesses said on Monday.

Rescue operations only started about three hours after the building had crumbled in the Ikoyi area of Lagos. Two bodies had been removed by late afternoon, according to those at the scene.

Obafemi Hamzat, deputy governor of Lagos, was met on his arrival at the site in Ikoyi by angry crowds who said authorities had failed to respond quickly to the tragedy.

“People we eat together with are inside. What are they doing here? Nothing!” eyewitness Godwin Bere shouted.

Construction worker Eric Tetteh, 41, said that he and his brother had managed to escape. But he estimated that more than 100 people were inside the building at the time it crumbled into a pile of debris.

Workers said the high rise apartment building had been under construction for about two years, and it was not immediately known what had caused the collapse.

However, such incidents are relatively common in Lagos because enforcement of building code regulations is weak. Other observers blame shoddy work by private developers eager to meet demand for housing in the megacity.

Olayemi Bello told the AP that five of his friends were trapped in the building and he feared the worst.

“When they work finish, they will come outside and they will play with us and talk about the work," he said. “Now, nobody. All of them are dead.”

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP World News, AP Business
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