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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Sanwo-Olu orders halt on building construction in Banana Island following collapse incident

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In the high-end Banana Island area of Lagos, a seven-story building under construction collapsed on Wednesday, trapping 25 workers. In response, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu ordered the suspension of all building construction in the island to allow a thorough audit by the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA).

In a statement released on Thursday by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, it was confirmed that nobody lost their lives in the incident. All 25 construction workers were rescued from the site, and a roll call was done to ensure that everyone was accounted for. The Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) scanned the building with a high-precision 3-D Laser Imagery System to confirm there were no individuals trapped in the rubble.

Following the collapse, the Lagos State government launched a probe into the incident, and the site has been divided into quadrants for a search and rescue operation. Physical Planning and Urban Development Commissioner Bamgbose-Martins and Special Duties Special Adviser Mobolaji Ogunlende are coordinating the operations, and LASEMA Permanent Secretary Dr. Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu is leading the rescue efforts.

Commissioner for Health Prof. Akin Abayomi visited the site and hospitals where victims of the incident were admitted. Of the 25 people rescued by LASEMA, 16 who sustained moderate injuries were admitted to General Hospital, Odan, Lagos Island, and Police Hospital Falomo for treatment and care. Nine others with minor injuries were treated and discharged at the site by the Lagos State Ambulance Services (LASAMBUS). Five patients with more severe injuries were admitted to the General Hospital Odan, Lagos Island.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the incident occurred during concrete casting when one of the concrete mixer trucks rammed into some load-bearing columns of the building, causing a loud bang and leading to the collapse. Eyewitnesses claim that the building was previously sealed by the Lagos State government for not having approval to commence construction, but the developers continued building under the security of their gated community.

As a result, Mr. Governor has directed that all developments on Banana Island be put on hold, subject to a comprehensive audit by the officials of LASBCA. The state government will take responsibility for the emergency treatment and care, including the medical bills of the victims on admission. In addition, the government will provide post-trauma counselling support and care for all victims through the Lagos MiND programme (Mental Health in Development), a free mental health counselling and support service provided by the Ministry of Health.

The collapse incident at Banana Island highlights the need for stringent building regulations and compliance with government policies to prevent such incidents in the future. The government’s prompt response and commitment to the welfare of the victims demonstrate the state’s resolve to ensure the safety and security of its citizens

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