LAGOS – Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has directed that all developments on Banana Island be placed on hold, subject to a comprehensive audit by officials of the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA). 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. This exercise will be extended to other estates and gated communities.
The directive comes in the aftermath of the collapse of a seven-storey building under construction on Banana Island. The incident occurred on Wednesday, and nobody has died as of the time of this report. Twenty-five people were rescued from the site, and the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) has continued excavation work, using the architectural designs.
According to a news release issued by Gbenga Omotoso, the commissioner for Information & Strategy, the Lagos State Government has also launched a probe into the collapse of the building under construction on Banana Island.
Furthermore, the statement from Omotoso disclosed that the building was hitherto 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.
The release also disclosed that the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) scanned the building with a high-precision 3-D Laser Imagery System for life and found no evidence of anyone trapped in the rubble. A roll call has also been done by the site supervisors, with everyone accounted for.
Despite the lack of fatalities, LASEMA continues to excavate the site using architectural designs, and the site has been divided into quadrants for a painstaking search and rescue operation.
Physical Planning and Urban Development Commissioner Bamgbose-Martins, an engineer, and Special Duties Special Adviser Mobolaji Ogunlende, are coordinating the operations, while LASEMA Permanent Secretary, Dr. Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, is leading the operations.
Commissioner for Health Prof. Akin Abayomi visited the site and hospitals where victims of the incident were admitted.
Of the 25 persons rescued by LASEMA, 16 with moderate injuries were admitted to the General Hospital, Odan, Lagos Island, and Police Hospital Falomo for treatment and care. Nine others with minor injuries were treated and discharged at the site by Lagos State Ambulance Services (LASAMBUS).
The State Government has taken responsibility for the emergency treatment and care of victims on admission, including their medical bills, and will provide post-trauma counseling support and care for all victims through the Lagos MiND program (Mental Health in Development) – a free mental health counseling and support service provided by the Ministry of Health.
Preliminary investigations have shown that the incident occurred during concrete casting. 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 Guardian)