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School collapse: ADP candidate urges inquiry into public buildings in Lagos

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Mr Babatunde Gbadamosi, the candidate of the African Democratic Party (ADP) in Saturday governorship election in Lagos state, has called for thorough and objective inquiry into the collapsed school building in Lagos.

Many pupils were feared dead and others trapped in a school building located in Ita Faji, Lagos Island that collapsed on Wednesday.

Emergency personnel rescue a child at the site of a building which collapsed in Lagos on March 13, 2019. – At least 10 children were among scores of people missing on March 13, 2019 after a four-storey building collapsed in Lagos, with rescuers trying to reach them through the roof of the damaged structure. The children were attending a nursery and primary school on the top floor of the residential building when the structure collapsed. Police said they believed scores of people were trapped under the rubble. (Photo AFP)

The school is located within a three-storey building.

Gbadamosi is a real estate mogul said: “The thought that some parents may have lost their children in the latest building collapse in Lagos state is so tragic, so traumatising.

“It is not enough for us to wail and fling our arms in the air, or ascribe this incident to the will of God.

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“The authorities need to conduct a thorough and objective inquiry into this incident, looking meticulously for practical lessons that can be applied immediately to prevent such further occurrence.

“A quick review of all buildings used as public spaces of gathering, whether as schools or malls or event centres, on more than one floor, needs to be undertaken by specialist civil engineers.

“Special equipment should be used to verify the dead-weight carrying capacity of the upper decks of these buildings.

“Once done, existing buildings can be rated for specific kinds of safe uses that will not cause collapse of this kind.

“If the structural strength is too weak, it should be recommended for full or partial demolition, in which case there must be compensation from the government that approved the building plans“ he said.

He stressed the need for appropriate authorities to inspect buildings under construction to check building collapse in order to save lives and property.

“In the meantime, government must seek out and find ways to comfort the bereaved as quickly and practically as possible.

“Inquiries must be made about the operator of the school and the owner of the building.

“This simply points us the need for urgent government investment in educational facilities and personnel so that we can provide safe spaces for our children to learn in public schools.

“How does one console the bereaved in these circumstances? Yet, we must as a society, reach out to these brothers and sisters of ours, so they know they are not alone in this.

“ We are all mourning. May the souls of the departed rest in peace.”

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