- Sets up five-man panel to investigate cause
OVER two weeks after the collapse of Lagos Island three storey building that left scores dead including school children and more than 40 people sustained injuries, another building has collapsed bringing to three the number of building collapses witnessed in that section of Lagos.
A resident in the area identified as Daddy Maria, said although the building had been marked for demolition, people were still moving in and out of it stating that Monday’s collapse occurred on No. 50 Kakawa Street, Campos, a residential building and noted that no casualty had been confirmed and no one was trapped in the rubble as occupants had vacated the building before the collapse. The structure, however, partially fell on a bungalow, leaving two occupants injured.
He said, “on Friday government officials came and they marked the house for demolition. I can’t really say what led to the collapse, but when we came back from church on Sunday, my wife and I noticed the pillar cracking and we decided to park our vehicle elsewhere and today, it collapsed.
“it was a residential building and all the occupants had already moved out, but people were still coming in and out of the building. Part of the rubble fell on the bungalow beside it. We can only thank God that there were no casualty.”
A resident of the affected bungalow, Tola Adeyanju said the incident occurred around 1pm, adding that the two people affected were immediately rushed to hospital
“I was on my way inside when I saw the building collapsing around 1pm. When the building collapsed, the rubble that fell on our building affected two people, one of whom is my niece. One was admitted to the general hospital and the other is being treated at the Fehintola Royal Consult Specialist Hospital.”
The state government urged occupants of distressed buildings marked for demolition across the state to immediately vacate them pending the arrival of the demolition team of the Lagos State Building Control Agency.
According to it, relief and resettlement centers have been opened to accommodate those who will be affected.
The Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Prince Rotimi Ogunleye, made the appeal while reacting to the collapse of the distressed three-storey building.
Ogunleye said, “The building in question had been identified as distressed by the officers of LASBCA and all the necessary statutory notices had been duly served. It was one of the defective structures marked for removal by the agency.
“Fortunately, the occupants had been evacuated before the incident occurred. Immediately the Lagos State Rescue Team and LASBCA were alerted and they moved to the site promptly to check all adjoining buildings so as to evacuate the occupants to avoid any further hazard.”
Already, 25 buildings have been removed by LASBCA as the government has stepped up measures to rid the state of distressed buildings and prevent the loss of lives and property
Five days later,the second building collapse was on 57, Egerton Square, Oke Arin, Lagos — but this was because the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) had engaged the services of quacks to bring down houses marked for demolition in the wake of the Ita Faji building collapse.
Meanwhile, Lagos State Government has set up a five-man panel to investigate the immediate and remote causes of the three-storey building collapse that led to injury and death of some inhabitants at ItaFaji area of Lagos Island recently.
Inaugurating the panel comprising professionals from the private and building sectors, Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Prince Rotimi Ogunleye, disclosed that the terms of reference of the panel include proffering remedial measures to stem further building collapse in the future, determining the level of negligence on the part of the developer or owner and the role of the State Government.
Ogunleye said the panel is expected to recommend measures that will guarantee quality service to forestall incidents of building collapse in the State, assuring that the recommendations will be appraised for implementation by the State government to stem the tide of such occurrences in future.
In his remarks, the chairman of the panel, a retired Permanent Secretary in Lagos State, Wasiu Olokunola gave assurance that the panel would do a thorough job as the members have the requisite experience in the built industry.
Other members of the panel, which has two weeks to submit its report to the state government, included Architect Fitzgerald Umar, Mr. BayoOwojori, Ayo Adediran and Mr. Kunle Awobodu.