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Rescuers scramble to save survivors of school building collapse in Nigeria

NIGERIA-LAGOS-BUILDING COLLAPES-RESCUE

Rescuers carry a child rescued from the scene of a building collapse in Lagos, Nigeria, on March 13, 2019. A school building in Lagos, Nigeria's commercial hub, on Wednesday collapsed with many primary school pupils feared dead, an eye witness and a local official said. (Xinhua/NAN)

LAGOS, March 13 (Xinhua) -- Hundreds of rescuers have been struggling to search and rescue victims of the collapsed building housing a school in Ita Faji area of Lagos, Nigeria's commercial hub, which reportedly killed at least nine people.

Soldiers, police personnel, and personnel from disaster management agency jointly attempted to pull out victims stuck in rubles of twisted wreckage.

It is estimated many of the victims remain underneath the ruin, Akinwunmi Ambode, the state governor told reporters at the scene of the collapsed three-storey building.

Ambode said that many buildings were marked for demolition but the landlords resisted the government's plan.

He expressed sadness over the incident, stressing that the marked building for demolition would be pulled down.

The governor said the collapsed building was a residential house with the school operating illegally.

According Xinhua reporters at the scene of the incident, a teacher, trapped with up to 20 pupils under the rubble, called for help, while emergency services were on ground to assist with the rescue operation.

Heavy machinery equipments have been deployed to the scene.

At the Lagos Island General Hospital, there was no official confirmation of casualties since the authorities need time for identification.

For relatives and friends waiting for news about their loved ones, it was a torture. Some were crying; some fainted in grief and others began to resort to non-official information.

However, many residents called on the state government to take firm action to reduce the incidents of building collapse in the area.

Head of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) Adesina Tiamiyu told reporters that many have been rescued, while some deaths were recorded.

In another official response, Titilayo Goncalves, a senior state health official, said 20 wounded people from the collapsed school building are receiving treatment in some hospitals in the state.

Goncalves said some of the victims had been transferred to other hospitals for further treatment.

Cases of collapsed building often occur in Lagos, Nigeria's economic hub, as some property owners and developers do not adhere strictly to planning and building laws and regulations.

[ Editor: Zhang Zhou ]