Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Barely two days after a building collapsed in Ita Faaji on Lagos Island, and killed many innocent people many of them children, another three-storey building has collapsed this time at Sogoye in Bode area of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
The building reportedly went down at 5:54p.m when site workers were preparing to round off for the day’s work. As at the time of filing this report, four among the workers had been rescued while many of them were still trapped in the rubble.
Rescue operations being led by Oyo State Fire Service are still underway. But those carrying out the exercise seem not to have the necessary equipment to rescue the trapped victims.
The incident led to punishing traffic snarl which hampered motorists moving from Idi Arere towards Molete and those going from Molete end towards Idi Arere, as well as those from Oke Ado axis and Adeyemo Layout in Molete area. Everyone was held for long hours.
Our correspondent reports that few minutes after the building collapsed, some of the trapped workers were said to have made calls through their mobile phones for help.
A middle aged man, who simply introduced himself as Sikiru Adegoke, said: “When I heard about the building collapse, I rushed to the scene. On getting there, I discovered that some of the workers trapped under the rubble were still making calls. I could hear their voices very well. But there was nothing I could do to get to where they were and help them out.
“Some people the victims called on phone also rushed to this scene. But on getting here, they started calling their numbers back, their phones were ringing, but there were no responses.”
The lucky workers so far rescued were Messrs Toheeb Gbadamosi,19, Olalekan Dauda, as well as Tunde and Rilwan Oladepo. But they sustained varying degrees of injury.
A fire fighter with Oyo State Fire Service, who did not want his name mentioned said the ongoing rescue operation would not stop until all those that were trapped had been rescued, adding that the darkness would not prevent them from doing the work.
According to him, “when we received the distress calls, we responded immediately. We got to the scene 35 minutes after the building collapsed. We will continue to try our best until we rescue or recover those that are still under the rubble.
“But the major challenge is that we do not have the right equipment to lift the concrete debris. So, we are carrying out the rescue operation manually.
One of the rescued workers, Olalekan Dauda, 42, said: “I was working on the top floor when the building collapsed. I just heard a sudden blast and later found myself and others in the building trapped in the rubble. I thank God for saving my life.”
Another survivor, Toheeb Gbadamosi, 19, recounted that the building collapsed on the first day he came to work at the site, saying: “I came around to raise some money for my upkeep. Things were difficult for me and I needed to raise money. I thank God that I came out of the rubble alive.”
Some of the survivors, it was gathered, have been taken to a private hospital in Molete, where they are said to be responding positively to treatment.