Collapsed Nigerian building had permit for 15 floors, not 21

Nov 2, 2021, 9:53 AM | Updated: 10:26 am
A view of the rubble of the collapsed 21-story apartment building under construction in Lagos, Nige...

A view of the rubble of the collapsed 21-story apartment building under construction in Lagos, Nigeria, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021. Authorities in Nigeria's largest city say the owner of a high-rise apartment building that collapsed suddenly has been arrested. The news came Tuesday as officials announced that 14 people had been confirmed dead following Monday's accident. Dozens of others are believed to still be trapped in the rubble of the 21-story building that was under construction in the Ikoyi area of Lagos. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

(AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Authorities in Nigeria have arrested the owner of a high-rise apartment building in the country’s largest city that suddenly collapsed, killing at least 14 people and leaving dozens still missing Tuesday beneath the rubble.

Nine people have been pulled out alive, an official said, but relatives were angry at what they called the slow pace of the rescue effort that began hours after the collapse on Monday.

Meanwhile, officials said the property’s developers had added six more floors than what was originally approved under their building permit in the city of Lagos, fueling speculation that the additional weight could have contributed to the collapse. The government-run News Agency of Nigeria reported that the building’s owner had been arrested on undisclosed charges.

“I am on the ground here and the materials he used are so inferior and terrible,” Gbolahan Oki, general manager of the Lagos State Building Control Agency, told the News Agency of Nigeria. “He got approval for 15 floors but built 21.”

Hours later, the Lagos state governor announced Tuesday that Oki had been suspended from his position indefinitely.

Co-workers say they believe dozens of people remain trapped in the debris, and only nine people have been pulled out alive over the last 24 hours, Lagos commissioner for information Gbenga Omotoso said.

“More equipment and personnel have been deployed in the site to save more lives,” he said.

On Tuesday, distressed relatives whose loved ones were missing sat together by the road consoling one another. Afolabi Sunny said his 25-year-old sister, Oyindamola, had only recently started to work at the construction site as a participant of the National Youth Service Corps just months after she graduated from school.

“They are trying. Everybody is just trying,” he said of the rescue operation. “But as far as my sister is not one of those brought out, they are not trying.”

Others at the scene shouted in anger, saying the rescue operation was too slow and that they should be allowed to join the effort. It took about three hours before the first excavator arrived at the scene Monday afternoon.

“Some of us have our brothers there,” one man shouted. “They are not doing much inside there, so why can’t they allow us?”

Mama Segun said her son had only been making a brief visit to see a friend at the construction site when the building came down.

“He wanted to go back yesterday to the United States, so he said he should come and see the landlord” before heading to the airport, she said. He never made the flight and has not been heard from since.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol delivers a speech during a news conference to mark his first 1...
Associated Press

South Korean leader: Seoul won’t seek own nuclear deterrent

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol said Wednesday his government has no plans to pursue its own nuclear deterrent in the face of growing North Korean nuclear threats, as he urged the North to return to dialogue aimed at exchanging denuclearization steps for economic benefits. In a news conference in […]
22 hours ago
Former Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks during a news conference in Sydney, Wednesda...
Associated Press

Former Australia PM says secret powers were needed in crisis

SYDNEY (AP) — Scott Morrison said Wednesday that giving himself extra powers when he was Australia’s prime minister was necessary during the coronavirus crisis as criticism rose the moves were deceptive and undemocratic. Current Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is seeking an opinion from the solicitor-general on the legality of some of Morrison’s moves. Many of […]
22 hours ago
A buoy sits high and dry on cracked earth previously under the waters of Lake Mead at the Lake Mead...
Associated Press

EXPLAINER: Winners, losers in water cuts for Western states

WASHINGTON (AP) — People in Arizona and Nevada won’t face bans on watering their lawns or washing their cars despite water shortages on the Colorado River. But officials said Tuesday there will still be less water available next year from the river that serves 40 million people in the West and Mexico. Observers say a […]
22 hours ago
FILE - Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who was a lawyer for former President Donald Trump, spe...
Associated Press

Rudy Giuliani set to testify in Georgia election probe

ATLANTA (AP) — Rudy Giuliani is scheduled to appear in an Atlanta courthouse to testify before a special grand jury that is investigating attempts by former President Donald Trump and others to overturn his 2020 election defeat in Georgia. It’s unclear how much the former New York mayor and attorney for Trump will be willing […]
22 hours ago
FILE - An Afghan woman holds her children as she waits for a consultation outside a makeshift clini...
Associated Press

EXPLAINER: Dueling views remain a year after Afghan pullout

WASHINGTON (AP) — A year after America’s tumultuous and deadly withdrawal from Afghanistan, assessments of its impact are divided — and largely along partisan lines. Critics slam the August 2021 evacuation of more than 120,000 American citizens, Afghans and others as poorly planned and badly executed. They say the complete withdrawal of U.S. forces opened […]
22 hours ago
Associated Press

‘The Butler’ author Wil Haygood wins prestigious book award

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Writer Wil Haygood, author of multiple nonfiction books chronicling the lives of 20th-century Black Americans including “The Butler,” has won a prestigious book award. The Dayton Literary Peace Prize announced Wednesday that Haygood — himself originally from Columbus, Ohio — will receive the Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award. “For […]
22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Sanderson Ford

Don’t let rising fuel prices stop you from traveling Arizona this summer

There's no better time to get out on the open road and see what the beautiful state of Arizona has to offer. But if the cost of gas is putting a cloud over your summer vacation plans, let Sanderson Ford help with their wide-range selection of electric vehicles.
Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Why your student-athlete’s physical should be conducted by a sports medicine specialist

Dr. Anastasi from Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Tempe answers some of the most common questions.
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
Collapsed Nigerian building had permit for 15 floors, not 21