By Milcah Tanimu
Onawole Adebayo, an artisan who narrowly escaped the collapse of a distressed three-storey building in Lagos State, has shared his ordeal during the tragic incident. The building, which was originally a school but had been converted into residential quarters in Agboye Estate on Oduntan Street, Ketu, partially collapsed, resulting in at least two injuries.
The building, home to over 800 rooms and hundreds of residents, initially gave way on a rainy Saturday afternoon after a prolonged period of rainfall in various parts of Lagos.
Speaking from his hospital bed in an interview, Adebayo explained that he had been summoned to the premises by a customer who lived in the building. The customer had asked for assistance in removing some of his belongings after the state government had ordered residents to evacuate the building due to its deteriorating condition.
Adebayo recalled, “My customer, who was an occupant in the building, called me on Saturday and asked me to help him remove some of his appliances after the state government had ordered the people living there to evacuate the building. So, I went there on Sunday morning and helped him remove his fan from the ceiling. His apartment is on the ground floor. So, I had stepped out of the room and was about to head to the gate when the building caved in on me. That was the last thing I remembered before I woke up here in the hospital. I was unconscious.”
A relative of the victim, who wished to remain anonymous, described the frantic efforts to rescue Adebayo from the rubble. After the customer alerted security personnel and other tenants who were also evacuating their belongings, it took nearly an hour to free him from the debris. Adebayo had suffered significant blood loss during the ordeal.
The tragic incident highlights the dangers posed by deteriorating and overcrowded buildings in some areas and underscores the importance of ensuring the safety of residential structures.