Twelve persons, including nine children, were confirmed dead in the three-storey building that collapsed in the Ita-Faaji area of Lagos Island on Wednesday.
The building, which houses a primary school on the second floor, collapsed in the morning while pupils were in their classrooms.
Officials of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) and other rescue officials had rescued some of the children trapped in the building, while those who sustained injuries among the pupils were taken to the hospital.
A resident of the area, Prince Adams, who spoke newsmen earlier in the day about the incident, said no fewer than 10 pupils had been removed from the rubble so far.
“It is terrible. Parents are crying. I can’t withstand the gorry sight,” he added.
Lagos state governor, Akinwumi Ambode, who visited the scene around 2:4p.m described the incident as unfortunate, while he commiserated with families of victims who lost their lives.
The governor said his deputy, Oluranti Adebule, had also visited the hospitals where some of the victims rescued had been taken to, saying the state government would immediately take over their treatment and foot their entire bill.
Ambode said, “I want to commiserate with the families of those that lost their lives in this collapsed building. I want to quickly let Lagosians know that this is quite an unfortunate incident. All we are trying to do is to scale up this rescue operation. Our response units are already here; we are getting additional cranes to be able to go deeper than where we are now to rescue more lives.”
“I just want to appeal to people that when we are doing this kind of rescue operation, yes, sympathizers will naturally come but I want to appeal that they should give the rescue workers the chance to save more lives.
“All we are interested in now is to save more lives and also see how those that have been rescued are put in proper place and proper care.
“So far, from what I have been briefed, we have rescued about 25 people and some already dead but we were earlier informed that it was a school, the building is not technically a school, it is a residential building that was actually accommodating an illegal school so to speak on the second floor.”
The governor who revealed that the school was operating illegally in the premises, vowed that those behind the school will be dealt with according to the law after a thorough investigation must have been carried out.