ABUJA, Nigeria — Nigerian authorities on Monday sought to arrest a property developer after a seven-storey building under construction collapsed in an upscale neighborhood in Lagos, the country’s largest city, killing at least six people.
Meanwhile, the Lagos Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development has tendered his resignation in the wake of Sunday’s tragedy, amid mounting pressure and condemnation over the frequent building collapses in the State.
In a statement before stepping down, Salako said the developer of the project was responsible “for undertaking construction without a valid planning permit and for ignoring official warnings against proceeding”.
Sunday’s crash happened on Victoria Island, an upmarket area of Lagos. No one has yet been brought out alive from the rubble on Monday afternoon, according to Ibrahim Farinloye of the National Emergency Management Agency.
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.
On Oba Abiodun Oniru Road where the tower stood before it collapsed, residents watched as excavators scoured the rubble for life. Health workers remained ready to offer care to any survivors while security forces barricaded the area.
Nigeria recorded more than 10 building collapses last year. Lagos, a city of more than 20 million people, is the hardest hit, recording at least six such collapses, including in November when more than 40 people died when a skyscraper still under construction collapsed. collapsed on the workers.
Nigerian authorities have often been accused of either failing to enforce building safety regulations nationwide or failing to act on the findings of commissions of inquiry into such disasters.