Six dead after building collapse in Nigeria’s largest city

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ABUJA, Nigeria (TBEN) – Nigerian authorities tried Monday to arrest a property developer after a seven-storey building under construction collapsed in an upscale neighborhood of Lagos, the country’s largest city, killing at least six people.

Meanwhile, the Lagos Commissioner for Town and Country Planning and Urban Development resigned in the wake of Sunday’s tragedy, amid mounting pressure and condemnation over the frequent collapses of buildings across the state.

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In a statement before stepping down, Salako said the project’s developer was liable “starting construction without a valid construction permit and ignoring official warnings to proceed.”

Sunday’s accident took place on Victoria Island, a luxury area of ​​Lagos. According to Ibrahim Farinloye of the National Emergency Management Agency, no one has been rescued alive from the rubble as of Monday afternoon.

The Lagos State Emergency Management Agency initially reported that six people were trapped in the building, but authorities now fear the number could be higher.

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On the Oba Abiodun Oniru road, where the high-rises stood before crumbling, residents watched as excavators combed through the rubble in search of life. Health workers remained on standby to treat possible survivors, while security forces barricaded the area.

Nigeria has recorded more than 10 building collapses in the past year. Lagos, a city of more than 20 million, has been the hardest hit, registering at least six such collapses, including in November, when more than 40 people died when a high-rise building still under construction crumbled onto workers.

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Authorities in Nigeria have often been accused of failing to comply with building safety regulations across the country or of not responding to the findings of investigative panels on such disasters.