Four year-old twin, Kehinde Ogundairo, died on Monday night in a building collapse at Agarawu Street on Lagos Island. Two-year-old Basit Raji and her grandmother, Silifatu Raji were injured.
The incident happened after a three-story building on 3, Hassan Lane, off Agarawu Street, Lagos Island collapsed around 10 pm on Monday night on another building, a five-room bungalow located behind it on number four.
The Nation learnt that the building which collapsed is said to be among those marked for demolition by the Lagos State government. It was gathered that the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LABCA) officials condoned off the collapsed building and some other buildings around it Monday morning.
The Nation learnt that the late Kehinde’s twin brother died about three years ago. Basit is receiving treatment at Massey Children’s Hospital on Lagos Island. She is said to have been injured in her eyes and chest as a result of dust, sand and loud sound from the collapse. Her mother is said to be late. Her grandmother, Raji was also said to have had shock from the sound of the collapse. She was rushed to the hospital too but was discharged on Tuesday.
Mother of the late Kehinde, Iyabo Adeosun, said though they have been instructed to leave the house, they could not because they did not have money to get another accommodation.
“I am always scared of that house that collapsed and we (tenants) have struggled with the house owners but they will always renovate it rather than get the house demolished.”
She said her child was ok and nothing was wrong with him before he died from the building that collapsed on him. “He was sleeping when the house collapsed on him. I have nowhere to sleep, all our belongings are now outside, I have nowhere to go, I beg government to help us,” she said.
Raji said she was outside cooking on Monday night and went inside to eat when she heard a sound.
“I heard a sound like it wanted to rain and I saw the building coming down; I was carrying Basit on my hand, she was like finding it uncomfortable, breathing hard and shaking; fear gripped me and it was like something struck me, I did not know what to do; we were rushed to the hospital. I was discharged shortly (Tuesday afternoon), I went to see Basit, she is in the Ward and she is undergoing treatment.”
The aged woman begged government to help her, saying she has nowhere to get money to get another accommodation.
A resident and sister to Adeosun, Mali Bakare said the incident happened around past 10 on Monday night, noting that the house that collapsed should have been demolished since four years ago.
“The house should have been demolished since four years ago, it is every year that they come back to mark this house for demolition but they will never demolish it. The house has been weak but after the Itafaji building collapse in March, all occupants in the house were instructed to leave the house and they did. We had called on government to come and demolish the house, we wrote it out on facebook that the house was shaking, we wrote petition, but all was to no avail.
“I was still playing here with Kehinde on Monday afternoon before he went to sleep. The house that collapsed tilted backwards and fell on another. Thank God it did not fall forward; the disaster would have been much more. We need government to help us, there is no one that is happy to live in a home like this but rent is too expensive in Lagos, adding up agreement and commission. The lives lost to building collapse on Lagos Island is too much, we need help from government,” she said.
Another resident, Sikiratu Adelani said the house suddenly collapsed backwards and killed one small boy who was struggled to be brought out of the collapsed building, but he died, and another baby was injured.
She said the house was marked for demolition when the itafaji building collapse happened but government did not demolish the house.
“It is now that the house collapsed that they sent all of us living around the house out and condoned off our buildings. This is not fair because they have nowhere to put us. They should have demolished this house that collapsed since it was marked and not allowed it to have collapsed itself and killed someone,” she said.
A LABSCA official who refused to be named told The Nation that the officials had already began demolition of the building before it collapsed on another.
He said the building collapsed on another building behind it while some area boys were trying to remove some iron windows and doors in the building. He said it was the officials that had demolished the building to the level it was. He said a boy died and another child was in the hospital.