Many pupils trapped as school building collapses in Lagos

Rescuers at the scene of the collapsed school

Rescuers at the scene of the collapsed school

Building collapses are common in Lagos, Nigeria's most populous city and commercial capital.

A three-storey building, which had a school on its top floor, fell on Wednesday.

A spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency's southwest region said casualty figures were not yet available but that many people including children were believed to be trapped.

The rescue operations are however, suffering hitches, as rescuers are finding it hard to gain access into the building with their equipments.

Anguished families crowded around the flattened remains of the building, which housed an elementary school, holding out hope that more children would still be found alive in the wreckage.

"I appeal to the residents to allow the rescue operators to carry out their work so that more lives can be rescued", he said.

"HURIWA will dispatch a petition to the United Nations Education Commission (UNESCO) and the Secretary-General of the United Nations to call the attention of the world body to the dangers that millions of school children go through by being exposed to poor, substandard and comprehensively unsafe schooling environment by the Lagos administration".

Scores of children are feared trapped after the school collapsed in Nigeria
Scores of children are feared trapped after the school collapsed in Nigeria

As rescuers worked furiously to reach those inside, distraught parents begged them to find their children. Members of the crowd held up an oxygen mask to the face of a young girl pulled from the rubble.

"We get resistance from landlords but we must continue to save lives", he said, pledging to step up measures against all structures that failed to meet the correct standards, saying they would be "quickly evacuated" and demolished. On the part of government, we would immediately take care of whatever it is that we can do, including the hospital bills.

It is characterised by its Afro-Brazilian architecture, a style brought over by thousands of freed slaves who headed back home after decades working the plantations in Brazil.

Building materials are often sub-standard and the enforcement of regulations in Nigeria is weak.

The statement read: "The collapse of Lagos three-storey building is the height of criminal dereliction of duty which should attract immediate prosecution for the murder of all the officials of the Lagos state Urban Planning Department".

Rescue workers and emergency teams rush to the scene.

Over 100 people died in 2016 after a church roof collapsed in the south of Nigeria.

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