16 floors of Lagos building cave in
Posted Wed, 22 Mar 2006
The top 16 floors of a 24-storey office block collapsed in central Lagos on Wednesday, blocking the main commercial street through Africa's biggest city and leaving at least one dead and 24 injured.
Broad Street in the downtown Lagos Island district was completely filled with rubble and police had cordoned off the area around the Nigerian Industrial Development Bank building while firefighters searched for survivors.
"They have evacuated one dead person and 24 seriously injured to the hospital. We are still looking for ten more people we believe may be trapped in the building," Lagos State Health Commissioner Leke Pitan said at the scene.
Building manager Kunle Adebajo, a former president of the Nigerian Institute of Structural Engineers, said the building had been sealed off since a fire on the eighth floor in order to minimise casualties in the event of a collapse.
"It was purely an accident. It's the work of a fire that happened from Sunday night to Monday morning," he explained.
The building finally toppled after the city was swept by a powerful thunderstorm early on Wednesday, witnesses said.
I ONLY TOOK THIS PIC A FEW DAYS AGO...3 MONTHS LATER