Following the collapse of a distressed three-storey building at Agboye Estate on Oduntan Street, Ketu, in the Ketu area of Lagos State, one of the injured victims, Onawole Adebayo, has recounted his ordeal during the incident.
PUNCH Metro reported that the building with over 500 rooms partially collapsed on Saturday.
The school-turned-residential building first caved in on Saturday afternoon following hours of rainfall that greeted most parts of Lagos.
On Sunday afternoon, as residents were still trying to salvage their belongings, the building crumbled again, destroying another structure inside the compound before collapsing completely.
Two people were rescued from the rubble while they also sustained varying degrees of injury.
Speaking with PUNCH Metro in the hospital where he was receiving treatment, Adebayo, who is an artisan, said that he had gone to the premises to work for a customer on the second day the building collapsed.
He said, “My customer who was an occupant in the building called me on Saturday that I should help him remove some of his appliances after the state government had ordered the people living there to evacuate the building.
“So, I went there on Sunday morning and helped him to remove his fan from the ceiling. His apartment is on the ground floor. So, I had stepped out of the room and was about to head to the gate when the building caved in on me. That was the last thing I remembered before I woke up here in the hospital. I was unconscious.”
A relative of the victim who craved anonymity said it took about an hour before he was removed from the rubble.
The relative said, “The customer he came to work for had left the room ahead of him. It was when he did not see him come outside that he rushed back and discovered that he was trapped under the rubble.
“That was when he raised the alarm and called the attention of security operatives and other tenants who were also evacuating their belongings. It took close to an hour before he was rescued. He also lost a lot of blood in the process before he was brought to the hospital.”
It was learnt that the second victim only had a minor injury and was discharged on Monday morning.
During a visit to the scene of the incident, our correspondent saw how the residents were still moving out their property.
It was also observed that the apartment of the landlord was part of the collapsed portion of the building.
A resident said everyone was indoors when the building collapsed on Saturday.
“The building partially collapsed around some minutes before 12pm. We were inside because of the rain.”
Some of the affected residents were also seen lamenting the unexpected eviction notice issued by the Lagos State Government.
Most of the occupants were looking dejected as they sat close to their properties outside the premises of the building.
A widow, who gave her name as Alice Owusu, said she just moved into the apartment and had nowhere to go since the incident happened.
She said, “I just moved into the room last week. I am a widow and I have four kids. It was my savings that I used to secure the one-room apartment I was staying in before this incident happened.
“I have been outside since Saturday and I have not had my bath. I have been begging the landlord if he can refund my money because I don’t know where to go from here.”