Not less than 35 lives have been lost in the Lekki Gardens building collapse, which occurred on Tuesday at the Lekki Horizon 1.
We had earlier reported that the death toll had reached 18. However, as at yesterday, the number had risen to 35 with many injured and others and still trapped in the rubble.
The management of Lekki Gardens has released an official statement on the unfortunate incidence.
“The Management of Lekki Gardens has confirmed the unfortunate incident, Tuesday March 8th 2016 where a building collapsed at about 4a.m. in the morning, at one of its residential estate projects in Lekki. The building which was under construction was meant to house a number of apartment units.
Rescue work started immediately and so far 18 people have been reported dead and others injured. The exact cause of the incident is not known at this time. All of our incident response procedures have been initiated, our support services have been mobilized and relevant authorities have been advised.
As regards the said building, investigations are being carried out to ascertain the cause of the collapse. In line with our usual safety standards, all sites are closed off by 6pm daily and it is mandatory that every worker leaves at that time.
The company is cooperating with the National Emergency Management Agency, Lagos State Government, Fire Service and Lagos State Police to speed up rescue efforts. Investigation is already underway to ascertain the identities of those affected as it is not company policy for site workers to take shelter in uncompleted buildings.
Lekki Gardens is a reputable residential property development company and has successfully completed and delivered over 6,000 units of houses across Lagos, Ogun, Rivers State and the Federal Capital territory, Abuja in the past 4 years and most of them already occupied. The Management and staff of Lekki Gardens sincerely sympathize with the families of those who lost their lives. The company will do all in its power to ensure that those injured are fully supported.
– Signed Management, Lekki Gardens”
Following the statement released by the management of Lekki Gardens, the Lagos stet government has directed the suspension of work at the site and ordered the Lagos State Police Command to cordon it off as a crime scene.
In a statement released on Wednesday by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, the government said the collapsed building was served contravention notice for exceeding the approved floors and thereafter sealed by the Lagos State Building Control Agency.
The government alleged that “in a brazen act of defiance and impunity, the owners of the building, Messrs Lekki Worldwide Estate Limited, the promoters of Lekki Gardens, criminally unsealed the property and continued building beyond the approved floors until the unfortunate incident of Tuesday which has led to loss of lives”.
It read in part, “The state government has consequently directed the suspension of work at the site and ordered the Lagos State Police Command to cordon it off as it is now a crime scene.
“The government also directed further integrity tests be carried out on every other construction project which has or is currently being handled by Messrs Lekki Worldwide Estate Limited in the interest of public safety.
“Furthermore, the Lagos State Governor, Mr.Akinwunmi Ambode, has strongly advised all directors of Lekki Worldwide Estate Limited to submit themselves to the Lagos State Commissioner of Police within the next 24 hours in their own interest or face immediate arrest.”
The Lagos state police command has revealed that it has arrested one of the contractors handling the collapsed 5-storey building.
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