Building control chief suspended as Lagos collapse death toll hits 16

Remains of the 21-storey luxury apartment building that collapsed during construction in Lagos on Monday, 1 November (Lagos State Government Official Web Portal)
Sixteen people so far are known to have died in the collapse on Monday of a 21-storey luxury apartment building under construction in Lagos, Nigeria, Reuters reports.

Nine have been pulled alive from the rubble and dozens are feared missing.

In response to the disaster, the governor of the state of Lagos, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, indefinitely suspended the general manager of the Lagos State Building Control Agency and set up an independent panel to investigate the collapse with members drawn from the Nigeria institutes of architects, town planners and engineers. A separate government probe is also underway.

Construction companies Julius Berger and China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation have joined in the rescue operations.

Yesterday, Lagos state deputy governor Kadri Obafemi Hamzat revealed that the project site in the upmarket Ikoyi district had previously been shut down for four months “because of some anomalies in the construction process”.

Also yesterday, the Lagos state government said it had sealed 67 commercial and residential buildings for building regulations non-compliance and unauthorised conversion of residential buildings into commercial use.

“We wish to state that there will be no cover-up in the search for the truth in this incident,” Gbenga Omotoso, Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, said in a statement. “If anybody is found to have been indicted, he or she will face the law.”

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