According to a statement made on Thursday by Gbenga Omotoso, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy in Lagos State, a thorough audit will be conducted by officials from the Lagos State Building Control Agency. This process is being implemented to ensure that a comprehensive assessment is carried out.
The government of Lagos State has ordered a halt on all development projects in the upscale neighborhood of Banana Island, following the collapse of a seven-story building under construction on First Avenue. The state commissioner for information and strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, issued a statement indicating that the move was necessary to enable officials of the Lagos State Building Control Agency to conduct a comprehensive audit. The aim of the audit is to determine the number of buildings being constructed without approval in the area and to ensure that all the approved buildings are being constructed in line with the approval limits provided.
According to Omotoso, the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, issued the directive to probe the collapse of the building on Banana Island. The incident, which occurred on Wednesday, resulted in no fatalities, and 25 people were rescued from the site. The Lagos State Emergency Management Agency conducted a search with a high-precision 3-D laser imagery system and found no evidence of anyone trapped in the rubble. The site supervisors conducted a roll call, and everyone was accounted for.
LASEMA continued with the excavation of the site, using the architectural designs. The site was divided into quadrants for a painstaking search and rescue operation, with quadrants 2 and 3 being leveled to ground zero, having completed the search operation, while quadrants 1 and 4 are still ongoing.
The operation is being coordinated by the state commissioner for physical planning and urban development, Tayo Bamgbose-Martins, and the special duties special adviser, Mobolaji Ogunlende. The LASEMA permanent secretary, Dr. Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, is leading the operation. The state commissioner for health, Prof Akin Abayomi, visited the site and the hospitals where the victims of the incident were admitted.
Out of the 25 persons rescued by emergency responders, 16 victims who sustained moderate injuries were admitted at the General Hospital, Odan, Lagos Island, and at the police hospital at Falomo, for treatment and care. Nine others with minor injuries were treated and discharged at the site by Lagos State Ambulance Services. Of the 16 persons on admission, 11 were taken to the police hospital, Falomo. Eight of the 11 persons have been treated and discharged.
Preliminary investigations revealed that the collapse occurred during concrete casting, and eyewitnesses said one of the concrete mixer trucks rammed into some load-bearing columns of the building, causing a loud bang and leading to the collapse. The building had been sealed by the Lagos State Government for not having the approval to commence construction, but the developers continued to build, hiding under the security of their estate/gated community.
In response to the incident, Governor Sanwo-Olu directed that all developments on Banana Island be placed on hold, subject to a comprehensive audit by the officials of the Lagos State Building Control Agency. This is to determine how many buildings are being constructed without approval from the Lagos State Government, and if all approved buildings are being built in line with the approval limits provided. The exercise will be extended to other estates and gated communities in the state.
However, journalists faced difficulty gaining access to the estate for follow-up reporting. The estate’s security guards, acting on the instruction of the estate management, denied them access, causing them to be stranded for hours. The estate management enforced the restriction to prevent hoodlums from infiltrating the estate. After gaining access, the journalists were prevented by security operatives manning the site where the building collapsed. However, following an intense argument, the journalists were granted access.
As a matter of policy, the state government will be responsible for the emergency treatment and care, including the medical bills of the victims on admission. It will also provide post-trauma