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Lagos govt declares 3-day mourning as death toll from Ikoyi 21-storey high-rise collapse is now 32

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In picture above: Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu (second right), Commissioner for Special Duties & Inter-Government Relations, Engr. Tayo Bamgbose-Martins (right) and Director-General, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Dr. Femi Oke-Osanyintolu (left) during a revisit to the site of the Ikoyi building collapse, on Thursday, November 4, 2021. Credit: LASG

The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has declared three days of mourning following the loss of lives from the Ikoyi building collapse, which occurred on Monday in which at least 32 persons are believed to have died.

Unconfirmed reports say that the body MDCEO of the real estate firm, Fourscore Homes, owners of the collapsed structure, Femi Osibona, had been recovered from the debris and identified.

Flags are expected to be flown at half-mast in public and private buildings, while official engagements have been cancelled during the mourning period.

In a statement by the Lagos State Commissioner for Information, Gbenga Omotoso, the Lagos State Government commiserated with all those who lost their loved ones in the unfortunate incident.

Governor Sanwo-Olu visited the site a third time on Thursday to encourage the rescuers and console relations of those who are believed to have been trapped in the 21-storey building before leaving for Lagos Island General Hospital to cheer the injured up.

The governor later swore in a six-man panel of Inquiry to find out why the building went down and recommend measures to prevent such incidents.

Members of the tribunal, who are drawn totally from the private sector, took the oath at the event held in the LASWA Building at Falomo, Ikoyi.

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Their assignment is expected to start immediately, and they are expected to report back within four weeks.

President of Nigeria Institute of Town Planners (NITP), Mr. Toyin Ayinde, is the chairman of the panel, while Ekundayo Onajobi, a lawyer in a private law firm, is the Secretary.

Other panel members are a structural engineer, Dr. Akintilo Idris Adeleke; an architect, Yinka Ogundairo; representative of Institute of Builders, Mr. Godfrey O. Godfrey, and Mrs. Bunmi Ibrahim, a real estate lawyer.

At the site of the collapse, the Governor, accompanied by his deputy, Obafemi Hamzat, hung around for up to three hours expressing satisfaction with the rescue operation, and commending the first responders for their efforts.

The actual number of persons trapped in the collapsed 21-storey building remained unclear as at Thursday afternoon, but 32 fatalities have been recorded, the Governor confirmed.

Giving an update to the press, Sanwo-Olu disclosed that family members had submitted 19 names of those still missing, saying the ongoing corona inquest on the bodies evacuated from the site was expected to be concluded by Friday (tomorrow) after which families would be invited to identify them.

Sanwo-Olu said, “Yesterday (Wednesday), we opened a register for people that have missing persons or loved ones whom they believed must have been at the site before the collapse. As I speak here, it is only 19 names of missing persons that have been registered. Some of them have pictures, others do not. This list would help us to get information on manifest of those at the site.”

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“As at this afternoon, we have recovered a total of 32 bodies. We are conducting a corona inquest on the bodies and by tomorrow (Friday), we hope the exercise would have been concluded. That is the deadline we gave to the corona, so that the families can come and identify the bodies recovered so far,” he added.

The Governor said he had ordered structural integrity test on two remaining high-rise structures in the premises where the 21-storey collapsed.

He said the action was necessary to safeguard the lives of emergency workers on the rescue operation.

From his visit to the hospital, Sanwo-Olu said that one of the nine people rescued alive, Sanwo-Olu said, had been moved to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) in Ikeja for advanced medical examination, but was not in a life-threatening situation.

Three survivors were discharged on Tuesday, he offered.

The multi-sectoral search and rescue operation are ongoing.

Teams of Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) and National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) are leading the effort, with the support of construction giants, Julius Berger, Craneburg, HiTech and China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC).

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