Wednesday, August 10

The death toll from the collapse of a skyscraper in Lagos rises to 36

The death toll from the collapse of a skyscraper under construction in Nigeria’s economic capital Lagos on Monday rose to 36, emergency services reported Thursday.

The 21-story building, located in the Ikoyi district, collapsed on Monday, trapping dozens of workers there.

“So far 36 people have been confirmed dead, 33 men and three women, while there were nine survivors,” Femi Oke-Osanyintolu, general manager of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, told AFP.

Families and friends of those trapped in the rubble waited at the scene as rescue operations continued three days after the disaster.

The number of people present at the site at the time of the collapse is still unknown.

Emergency services said on Wednesday that 22 bodies had been recovered, but others were found later that day.

Ibrahim Farinloye of the National Emergency Management Agency also confirmed the new figure Thursday, adding that rescuers “will not give up until we reach ground zero.” In fact, Tuesday night a larger team arrived to reinforce the operation.

The cause of the collapse has not been determined, but authorities have ordered an investigation. Building collapses are common in Africa’s most populous country, where millions live in dilapidated properties and building regulations are routinely ignored.