43 now confirmed dead in collapse of Nigerian luxury high-rise

Forty-three people are now confirmed dead following the collapse of a luxury apartment high-rise this week that was under construction in Nigeria’s most populous city.

Femi Osibona, director of Fourscore Homes, the real estate company behind the 21-story Lagos building, was among the additional seven recovered bodies, Nigerian Red Cross official Segun Akande told the Associated Press Friday.

The last survivors were rescued from the site Tuesday, a day after the tragic toppling that occurred when an estimated 100 or so construction workers were on the site. Nine survivors rescued Monday were said to be in stable condition.

Rescue workers save a survivor that was trapped under the rubble of the collapsed 21-storey building in Ikoyi, Lagos, on November 2, 2021. (BENSON IBEABUCHI/)

Dozens are believed to still be missing in the rubble.

Ekene Iwuozor, who earned about $5 daily for his work at the site, said that the majority of the construction workers were young and from southern Benin City, nearly 200 miles southeast of Lagos.

Iwuozor, who wasn’t feeling well Monday and didn’t go to work, and said that his brother, 25, is among those who have yet to be rescued or recovered, noting he “told my brother to go and meet me later. Little did I know I wont see him again.

The 21-storey building was still under construction when it fell abruptly into a pile of concrete slabs on Monday in the wealthy Ikoyi district of Nigeria's commercial capital. (BENSON IBEABUCHI/)

“I haven’t even told my sister,” he told AP. “I haven’t told my father. I have no word yet. Let them just finish (with the rescue operation).”

Akande said Thursday that the chances of any survivors now “are … very, very slim.”

The city of more than 14 million has had its flags at half-staff for three days.

Lagos Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has given an independent panel 30 days to investigate the cause of the tragedy, including whether any corners had been cut and building laws had been followed.

Similar to the devastating Florida collapse of Surfside’s Champlain Towers South in June, officials are now concerned about other high-rises in the same complex. A pair of such buildings, both under construction, have been ordered to undergo structural integrity tests as a preventative measure, said Sanwo-Olu.

Nigeria as a whole and Lagos in particular have suffered other recent building collapses. Four such incidents in 2020 alone left five dead, including three children, leading David Majekodunmi, chairman of the town’s chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Architects, to call on Lagos to have more than just one certified laboratory testing location.

With News Wire Services

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