Update: At least 36 dead, dozens still missing after Nigeria apartment building collapse

Dozens are dead and missing following the collapse of an apartment high-rise in Nigeria’s most populous city.

Since Wednesday afternoon, an additional 15 bodies including two previously reported on, have been recovered from the site of the 21-story luxury apartment building that fell Monday, bringing the total death toll to at least 36, Ibrahim Farinloye of Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency told The Associated Press Thursday.

Nine survivors rescued Monday are currently in stable condition. No survivors have been found since Tuesday.Security force gather as rescue personel work at the site of a collapsed 21-story apartment building under construction in Lagos, Nigeria, Monday, Nov. 1, 2021. Security force gather as rescue personnel work at the site of a collapsed 21-story apartment building under construction in Lagos, Nigeria.

The collapse occurred when dozens of of construction workers, including artisans, were on site. One worker said it looked like as many as 100 were estimated to have been working there when the building toppled.Rescue workers carry a body at the site of a collapsed 21-story apartment building under construction in Lagos, Nigeria, Monday, Nov. 1, 2021. Rescue workers carry a body at the site of a collapsed 21-story apartment building under construction in Lagos, Nigeria.

“The chances are very, very slim” that anyone still trapped has survived, Segun Akande of the Nigerian Red Cross told the AP. The initial rescue efforts did not begin until roughly three hours after the collapse.

The cause of the tragedy is under investigation by an independent panel, which has 30 days to do so, at the behest of Lagos Governor Sanwo-Olu. The probe will look into whether building laws had been adhered to by project developers and whether any corners were cut by state regulators who oversaw the project.

The collapses of four Lagos buildings in 2020 left five dead, including three children.

David Majekodunmi, chairman of the town’s chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Architects, is calling for the city to “have other certified laboratory testing places” than the sole one it currently has. “Recommendations were made over 10 years ago,” said Majekodunmi.

“People are indeed upset,” the governor said of this week’s tragedy, ensuring that those who are indicted will face criminal charges. “I can assure you we are doing everything.”

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