At least four persons have died after a high-rise building collapsed in the Ikoyi area of Lagos on Monday.
Some five persons have also been rescued alive as rescue operations intensified into the night.
More people are believed to still be trapped in the rubble.
The Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) said it was fully on ground with “heavy duty equipment and life detection equipment have been dispatched.”
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu called for calm late on Monday, in a statement signed by his spokesperson, Gbenga Omotoso.
President Muhammadu Buhari also condoled with the families of those who died in the incident.
“President Buhari shares the sad moment with people and Government of Lagos State, urging authorities to step up efforts in rescue operations, while emergency institutions, including hospitals, should provide all the necessary support to safeguard lives of the rescued,” a statement signed by presidential spokesperson Femi Adesina, said.
“The President prays for God’s intervention in the ongoing rescue operations.”
Trapped under the rubble
Wisdom John, 28, a bricklayer, said he escaped with just a few cuts because he had been on the ground floor when the building collapsed into a pile of concrete, its floors sandwiched together.
“There was more than 50 working today and the manager too,” he said, sitting in an ambulance getting treated. “We just ran out.”
The Ikoyi area is one of the wealthier residential and business districts in Lagos.
Building collapses are common in Lagos because of sub-standard materials, negligence and the flouting of construction regulations.
Near Monday’s collapse site, soldiers kept back a crowd of onlookers watching the rescue operation.
Dozens of angry local residents and workers had gathered to help out soon after the collapse, many crying and voicing frustration over the slow pace of the rescue efforts.
Lagos State police commissioner Hakeem Olusegun Odumosu said it was still too early to determine the cause of the collapse.
“Many workers are trapped under the rubble,” said Femi Oke-Osanyintolu, LASEMA’s General Manager.
Four other construction workers at the site said dozens of their colleagues were inside when the building crumbled.
“Like 40 people were inside, I see 10 bodies because I climbed up,” said Peter Ajagbe, 26, one local worker on the site.
“One of my partners is dead.”
Taiwo Sule, 21, another worker, said he had seen five bodies on top of the collapsed building, where he had tried to help recover them.