Nine people were arrested Monday in connection with the collapse of a bridge in western India that killed more than 130 people, police said.
The nine — all associated with a company than maintained the bridge in Morbi — were being investigated for culpable homicide not amounting to murder, senior police officer Ashok Kumar Yadav said in a statement.
“On behalf of the government and people of Nigeria, I wish to express my profound sorrow and sincere sympathy to the Prime Minister, families of the deceased, and the people of India following this tragic incident,” the President was quoted as saying.
Apart from those that died, 177 of the 500 have been saved and teams are searching for several others who are still missing.
President Buhari also prayed for recovery of all the persons who suffered injuries.
Tragedy struck in Asaba on Thursday following a building collapse in the Delta State capital.
Channels Television gathered that the affected building – playing host to a popular supermarket – caved in, injuring at least five persons.
According to an eyewitness account, some people who were in the building when it caved in sustained various degrees of injuries and have been taken to the hospital for treatment.
Sources said several bags of rice were offloaded into the top floor of the building earlier in the day. However, it could not be ascertained what was responsible for its collapse.
Meanwhile, rescue effort has been intensified at the collapsed building which is directly opposite the popular Emeka Ofor Plaza, near St. Patrick College.
The Secretary to the State Government, Mr Patrick Ukah, was also on the site to see the level of damage caused by the collapse.
Ukah also stated that the injured victims are currently receiving treatment at a nearby hospital. He, however, dismissed speculations of what may have caused the collapse, calling for calm and patience until investigations are over.
Building collapse is common in parts of Nigeria, especially the urban centres. Saturday’s incident comes weeks after another structure collapsed in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja. Two persons died in the incident.
Enforcement of safety regulations and the use of shoddy materials have been highlighted since November last year after a high-rise building under construction collapsed in the Ikoyi district of Lagos, killing at least 45 people.
Since 2005, at least 152 buildings have collapsed in Lagos, according to a South African university researcher investigating construction disasters.
President Muhammadu Buhari has called for improved construction standards, describing the frequent building collapses as “increasingly embarrassing”.
Ten people were killed and seven injured Saturday after the collapse of a section of a mountain at a coal mine in China, state television channel CCTV reported.
The accident took place around 11:15 am local time (0315 GMT) in the northwestern province of Gansu, said CCTV, adding that rescue operations are now over.
Personnel were moving around the mining site in Baiyin city “when a mountainside collapse occurred” which “buried these employees as well as vehicles,” said CCTV. A total of 17 people were trapped.
According to the final report Saturday evening after the discovery of the last body, “10 people died and seven were slightly injured”, it said, quoting local authorities.
“An investigation is underway to determine the causes of the accident,” CCTV said.
While little information was provided about the mining site Baiyin city — which boasts terrain that is part mountain and part desert — was originally established as a national copper mining base in the 1950s.
Mining accidents occur frequently in China, where the industry has a bad safety record and regulations are often poorly enforced.
Safety has improved in recent decades, however, as has the media coverage of major incidents, many of which were once overlooked.
But the sector remains dangerous and safety instructions are often lax, especially on the most rudimentary sites.
Last September, 19 miners stranded underground after the collapse of a coal mine in Qinghai province in the country’s northwest were found dead after a long search.
Three months later in northern Shanxi province, hundreds of rescuers were dispatched to a flooded coal mine that left miners trapped. Twenty workers were rescued, and two bodies were recovered after a dramatic two-day operation.
Authorities in response have vowed to crack down on illegal digging operations which had spiked in the wake of price surges for the fossil fuel.
And earlier last year, 11 miners from a group of 22 were rescued from a collapsed mine in eastern Shandong province, after spending two weeks stranded hundreds of meters underground.
China relies on coal for around 60 percent of its electricity, and has asked domestic miners to increase capacity by 300 million tons this year.
The State Council, China’s cabinet, in May announced 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) of investment in coal power generation, as producers were pressured to ramp up output before 2025, after which President Xi Jinping has vowed to phase down its use.
A three-storey building has collapsed in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
Though no life was lost, valuable properties worth millions of naira were destroyed as a part of the building serving as residential apartments and shops caved in on Wednesday on Bende Street at the Old Port Harcourt Township axis of the city.
The building is one of many old structures in the Old Port Harcourt Township that residents often describe as a time bomb.
Speaking to Channels Television, a resident of the area, Alex Loveday, said this is not the first time the building will collapse.
He stated that the first time part of the building caved in, occupants were warned to keep away from the facility but they ignored it.
Loveday, however, faulted the state government for not ensuring compliance by taking over the building so as not to endanger human lives.
“People are living inside here. I am aware that they have warned them to keep away. The first time part of it collapsed, they warned them to keep away from the vicinity,” he said.
“Government has not fully taken charge of it, that is why they still remain here. They don’t want to go out because nobody asked them to go out with a force and they look like they are not paying any bills. But they don’t know that they are endangering their lives.
“The government should take over this building and do something that will help the masses so that no one will stay here. The way it is now if it falls out in any way, it may cause problems. It is better they fall out of the building and erect something that will help the masses.”
This collapsed three-storey building on 112 Bende Street is one amongst many in this axis of Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital which is a source of concern to residents.
Many of these structures erected during the colonial period have outlived their lifespan but are still being used as residential buildings and shops.
Occupants of this collapsed building are devastated as they have been rendered homeless and stranded.
A Photo collage of the collapsed building in the Ikoyi Area of Lagos State. Source: Facebook/LASEMA
The acting Chief Medical Examiner of Lagos State, Dr Sokunle Soyemi, on Thursday disclosed that five deceased victims of the 21-storey building which collapsed on Nov. 1, 2021 at Gerard Road, Ikoyi, Lagos are yet to be identified.
The pathologist made the disclosure while testifying at the Coroner’s Court sitting in the Ikeja area.
“There were 50 victims of the collapsed building (47 male and three female),45 have so far been identified and their ages range from 18 to 56-years,” he said.
“So far we have identified 45 bodies out of 50. The autopsies revealed that 40 deceased persons had multiple injuries as the cause of death.
“Six had injuries to the head alone and died. One had a bilateral fracture of the femure, the pathologist testified.”
Soyemi also said that autopsies on the bodies commenced on Nov. 4, 2021 and lasted for 13-days until Nov. 13, 2021.
He said the remains were put in 53 body bags.
On the physical state of the corpses, the pathologist said the bodies could not be visually identified and samples had to be taken from the bodies for testing at the Lagos State DNA and Forensic Center.
“After about a month, we started receiving results from the lab. As we were receiving the results we were also releasing the bodies to families and up till now, we are still releasing bodies.
“At present of the 45 identified bodies, 42 have been released to family members while the remaining three have not been collected by family members.
“When there was a call for family members to come and donate samples, some people who were not related to the deceased came forward and the samples could not match.
“We had to call again for new samples from family members which came in about two weeks ago,” he added.
Soyemi in his evidence revealed that he never visited the site of the collapsed building during the course of his duties. He also noted that death certificates have been issued for the deceased.
The coroner, Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe has adjourned proceedings until tomorrow, Friday, Feb. 18 for the continuation of hearing.
At least seven people were killed and three were missing after a cliff collapsed onto boats carrying tourists on a lake in Brazil, authorities said Saturday.
Rescue teams including a dive squad and members of the Brazilian Navy rushed to Furnas Lake in Minas Gerais state, where panicked tourists had watched helplessly as a large rock fragment broke off a ravine and plunged atop three boats.
The latest official toll is “seven dead and three missing,” Minas Gerais firefighters’ spokesman Pedro Aihara said on Saturday night.
Another 32 were wounded, including nine who had to be hospitalized, authorities said.
Firefighters had initially reported 20 missing, but “that number was substantially reduced because a good part of the victims who were unaccounted for were people who moved by their own means to hospitals,” Aihara said in a voice message sent to reporters.
Tourists flock to see the rock walls, caverns and waterfalls that surround the green waters of Lake Furnas, formed by the hydroelectric dam of the same name.
Dramatic videos shared on social networks caught the exact moment when the cliff fell on the three boats.
Another video posted on social media shows the minute before the fall, in which several people warn that “lots of stones are falling” and yell at the occupants of the other boats to move away from the wall.
President Jair Bolsonaro retweeted some of these videos on his account, and reported that “as soon as the unfortunate disaster occurred, the Brazilian Navy moved to the site to rescue victims and transport the injured.”
The divers’ search will be interrupted overnight for safety reasons and resumed in the morning, but other rescuers continue to work at the site.
Very heavy rain has fallen in recent days in southeastern Brazil, making the collapse more likely, according to firefighters.
“The tribunal began formal interviews with witnesses from Tuesday, 16th November 2021, in order to identify the roles played in the activities that led to the collapse of the building and received the report from the consultants who conducted verticality tests on the remaining structures standing in the premises of the collapsed building. The results of the tests on the construction materials are still being awaited,” Ayinde said.
“The interviews conducted have been recorded for the purpose of record-keeping, and the tribunal would meet as many as are willing to present credible and factual statements, with evidence(s), relating to the collapse.
“The tribunal’s mode of communication would be to brief the media through press releases as and when required, so that the public may be aware of the conduct of the proceedings. As we proceed, we expect your cooperation and we hope that we will, together with all stakeholders, be able to solve this problem on a permanent basis.”
The tribunal which consists of six professionals in the private sector was set up by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and began sitting immediately after its inauguration on Thursday, November 4.
See the press statement issued by the Tribunal below:
FIRST PRESS CONFERENCE HELD BY THE TRIBUNAL OF INQUIRY INTO THE COLLAPSE OF THE 21-STOREY BUILDING AT 44 BCD, GERRARD ROAD, IKOYI ON MONDAY, 22ND NOVEMBER, 2021 AT THE SECRETARIAT OF THE TRIBUNAL, LASWA TERMINAL BUILDING, FIVE COWRIE CREEK, IKOYI-LAGOS
You will all recall the sad incident of the collapse of a 21-floor structure at 44 B,C,D Gerrard Road in Ikoyi area of Lagos State, where a number of our compatriots lost their lives. Our hearts go out to the bereaved families and we should at this point observe a moment’s silence in honour of these fellow citizens. We pray that God would repose the souls of the departed.
Following the unfortunate incident, the Governor of Lagos State inaugurated a 6-man Tribunal of Inquiry for the purpose of:
a) Determining the cause(s) of the collapse of the 21-storey building under construction;
b) Determining whether there was full compliance with the Physical Planning, building, building materials testing, Laws and regulations in Lagos State by the developer or by any other person;
c) Determining whether there was any supervisory, oversight or enforcement lapses on the part of any of the relevant regulatory authorities in the State;
d) Investigating and procuring from all listed professionals on the project their contracts of service, drawings, minutes of site meetings, schedules and all other relevant documents that may assist in the inquiry;
e) Investigating and conducting necessary tests on materials used for the construction of the collapsed building;
f) Obtaining and scrutinizing all project drawings and specifications filed and submitted by the Developer to the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development and its sister agencies for Building and Urban Development Permits/Approvals with respect to the collapsed building;
g) Making recommendations on how to best ensure the safety of the construction space and prevent building collapse in Lagos State, both for development of projects and to ensure an effective and efficient regulatory environment;
h) Recommending disciplinary action or prosecution of any person or corporate body found culpable, and
i) Investigating any other matters incidental to any of the Terms of Reference stated above.
The Tribunal was given 30 days to complete its task.
The purpose of this Press Conference is to apprise the Press, and the general public, of what the Tribunal has done so far, and what our activities are likely to be in the remaining days ahead.
The Tribunal which comprises six professionals in the private sector, and who are certified members of their professions, began sitting immediately after its inauguration on Thursday, 4th November, 2021. There may have been concerns or agitations about why the Tribunal has not spoken to the Press. We will like to state that members of the Tribunal are professionals, and our calling demands that we make statements from informed and verified positions. We are compelled to speak only when investigations have been made, reports and documents submitted, queried, analysed and discussions held with relevant stakeholders.
So far the activities of the Tribunal have included:
Setting up the Secretariat and arranging logistics for the successful conduct of activities;
A visit to the site of the collapse on Friday, 5th November, for a general assessment of the rescue operations, and to determine areas where expert consultants’ services would be required.
A visit to the General Hospital, Broad Street to interview some of the survivors who could offer some eyewitness accounts.
Engaging the services of consultant building materials testing laboratory for the purpose of addressing item (e) of the TOR;
Engaging the services of a consultant Land Surveyor to conduct verticality tests on the remaining structures within the premises of the collapsed building;
Writing the relevant Government MDA’s to request for all files and documentation relating to the collapsed building.
Writing to all consultants and developer/contractors associated with the project on 44 B,C,D Gerrard Road, Ikoyi; and
Listing more than 30 stakeholders relevant to the construction industry and the collapsed building, whose views, position papers and recommendations would be received and considered. Those that the Tribunal consider necessary to chat with would be invited.
PROCEDURE FOR TRIBUNAL SITTING
The Tribunal would like to state that some documents have been received from some government MDA’s and members have started studying them. We have also interviewed some of the LASG staff in the relevant MDA’s. We however appeal to members of the public, professional bodies and construction industry stakeholders, as well as individuals who have useful information and invite them to submit memoranda which have direct bearing on the particular issue being investigated, as well as their recommendations to prevent future occurrence.
This is where all memoranda, recommendations and submissions can be sent to on or before Wednesday, 24th November, 2021.
The Tribunal began formal interviews with witnesses from Tuesday, 16th November, 2021 in order to identify the roles played in the activities that led to the collapse of the building, and received the report from the consultants who conducted verticality tests on the remaining structures standing in the premises of the collapsed building. The results of the tests on the construction materials are still being awaited.
The interviews conducted have been recorded for the purpose of record-keeping, and the Tribunal would meet as many as are willing to present credible and factual statements, with evidence(s), relating to the collapse.
The Tribunal’s mode of communication would be to brief the Media through Press releases as and when required, so that the public may be aware of the conduct of the proceedings. As we proceed, we expect your cooperation and we hope that we will, together with all stakeholders, be able to solve this problem on a permanent basis.
The Lagos State Government and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) have differed on the casualties recorded from the Ikoyi building collapse as rescue efforts continue.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, who visited the scene on Thursday, noted that 32 bodies have been recovered from the building collapse.
“As of this afternoon, we have recovered a total of 32 bodies. We are conducting a corona inquest on the bodies and by tomorrow (Friday), we hope the exercise would have been concluded,” the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Gboyega Akosile, quoted his principal as saying.
“That is the deadline we gave to the corona so that the families can come and identify the bodies recovered so far.”
But earlier in the day, NEMA’s Acting Coordinator of the Lagos Territorial Office, Mr Ibrahim Farinloye had said 38 people were confirmed dead following the collapse of the high-rise, explaining that nine survivors – one female and eight male – were rescued from the rubble.
Amid continued rescue efforts, families and relatives are hanging around the collapsed structure in the high-brow area of Lagos State, waiting for news about their loved ones trapped in the building.
According to Governor Sanwo-Olu, some families have submitted names of missing people, just a day after a register was opened.
“Yesterday (Wednesday), we opened a register for people that have missing persons or loved ones whom they believed must have been at the site before the collapse,” the Lagos governor added in a statement by his aide.
“As I speak here, there are only 19 names of missing persons that have been registered. Some of them have pictures, others do not. This list would help us to get information on the manifest of those at the site.”
Before now, Sanwo-Olu had visited some of the survivors who are receiving treatment at the Lagos Island General Hospital.
One of the rescued persons has, however, been moved to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) in Ikeja for advanced medical examination, the governor explained but assured that he is not having a life-threatening condition.
Three of the survivors have been discharged two days ago.
The building, which was under construction, collapsed on Monday with an unconfirmed number of persons feared trapped.
More people have been confirmed killed and more survivors rescued hours after a high-rise building collapsed in the Ikoyi area of Lagos State.
Channels Television had reported the incident which occurred on Monday afternoon along Gerrard Road in the commercial hub of the nation.
While four persons were killed and five others rescued as of Monday night, the death toll and number of survivors rose on Tuesday as rescue efforts continued through the night.
According to the spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), 16 more bodies have been recovered.
He added that five more persons trapped under the rubble have been rescued by emergency responders at the scene.
This brings the total figures of those killed and rescued so far to 20 and 10 respectively.
The Deputy Governor of Lagos, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, who visited the site amid tight security, explained that the premise of the collapsed building has been sealed by the government agency in charge of testing, for more investigation into the integrity of the structure.
Emergency workers have intensified rescue operations as more people are believed to be trapped under the rubble.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Nigerian Institute of Architects, Lagos State Chapter, David Majekodunmi, also visited the site of the building collapse.
He lamented that unfortunate incidents such as this should not have happened if authorities had done what was expected of them.
“My first impression is that the country is in a mess. We are in a mess because if we have done what we are supposed to do, either on the private or government side, we wouldn’t be having this kind of incident.
“Like it’s said by (Femi) Falana, the renowned lawyer, about six or seven weeks precisely where we have all the allied professionals in the construction industry together, he said ‘we should stop talking about building collapse; go and search yourselves, what is your regulatory building doing? Your regulatory body is supposed to regulate things like this,” said Majekodunmi.
He added, “Looking at this, you can’t determine what is actually the cause of the collapse. In a nutshell, we are standing in front of the signage which is supposed to be a prerequisite at a site.
“You cannot see the name of the architect, the structural engineer, and other consultants. But there is so much going on on the platform where the number written on all these consultants happens to be the developer.
“I will tell you just a little history because the government has a big fault for this. In 1986, a National Building Code was drafted by all the professional bodies in the construction industry – seven of them. This National Building Code was not signed until 20 years after it was drafted.”