The total number of people who died in the tragic building collapse which occurred in Lagos State, has risen again.
A The Nation report has shown that the death toll in Tuesday’s building collapse yesterday rose from two to eight.
According to the report, the grim task of rescuing the trapped took the better of the day before the operation was called off last night.
An eight-year old surviour, Wuraola Afolayan, said she saw a ray of light and pulled her younger brother towards it before they were rescued.
The kids were among 15 others rescued from the building which caved in at Massey/Karena Street.
The six more bodies were recovered between 1am and noon by Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) with the help of floodlight. The rescuers worked despite the hostilities of some miscreants.
Afolayan, who was brought to the scene when Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) in charge of Operations, Imohimi Edgal arrived, said they were sent by their parents to buy beans.
She said: “Our mother sent us to buy beans. When we got there, the building just fell. We were in a dark place when I saw light and so, I pulled my brother and we followed the light. That was how we were seen and rescued.”
Eleven-year-old Hassan Ajetunmobi was also rescued from the debris around 3:30am. He was injured on his right leg and left hand.
Awolowo Toyin, Amoo Zainab, Kofo Rotimi, Adau Akeem, Ufodike Innocent, Adebayo Olugbemi, Leonard Bernard, Adawo Adidat, Rahmon Rasa, Amoo Sherifat, Ajetunmobi Oyindamola, Amidu Lamou and Qudus Ojoye were rescued on Tuesday and rushed to Lagos Island General Hospital.
The bodies of Lawal Mabolaje, 15 and Ibrahim Bello, 26, which were among those recovered from the rubble, have been collected by the relatives.
The miscreants went wild around 2am, when Bello’s body was found.
When LASEMA and Nigerian Red Cross (NRC) officials took the body bag to a waiting van, the thugs demanded to see it and their wish was granted.
Rather than allow the family to take the body away, they attacked the officials who carried the body bag, threatening to kill them.
Two of them lifted their clothes up and showed the officials guns. They accused the rescuers of killing Bello.
Explanations by the LASEMA crew that the victim was brought out from under a beam fell on the hoodlums’ deaf ears. They assaulted a Red Cross official.
To ensure peace, LASEMA General Manager Adesina Tiamiyu ordered the emergency workers to withdraw from the site for the miscreants.
Following their withdrawal, relatives of those still trapped went after the hoodlums and also invited the police to chase them away.
The hoodlums eventually gave way for the rescuers to continue their work and Ajetunmobi was rescued.
It was gathered that residents last week prevented the firm that mounted a mast near the building from installing an industrial standby generator on the penthouse.
The government has begun investigation to ascertain who approved the installation of the mast on the structure.
It was gathered that a telecommunication’s firm paid a relative of the building owner for the mast. The relative has since moved abroad.
Tiamiyu said the mast might have contributed to the building collapse, adding that investigation would determine the cause.
He said the building and others around it would hardly pass integrity test, appealing to the residents to consider their safety first.
According to him, 15 persons were rescued. He put the casualty figure at eight.