At least 12 bodies have been recovered after a three-story “substandard building,” collapsed in central Nigeria, rescue officials told CNN.
“We found 12 bodies on the spot, and four people were injured, but they are receiving treatment at the hospital,” said Nurudeen Musa from the National Emergency Management Agency.
Police said seven people were rescued unhurt from the building containing shops and rented apartments after the incident on Monday afternoon in a local community in Jos, Plateau State.
“The materials used for the building were substandard, and it had given signs that it could collapse,” Musa said.
Officials said search operations have ended and the area would be cordoned off for safety examination and investigations.
Resident Taiye Segun Folorunsho was injured in the incident.
“This thing that happened to our neighbors and our loved ones is heartbreaking, he told the AFP news agency.
“I was in the shop working with my dad, suddenly we just saw the building collapse. I stood up and tried to run and I fell down and I could not move my legs”, Folorunsho said.
Building collapses occur frequently in Nigeria where regulations are rarely adhered to, according to an expert who said more than 1,000 buildings are at risk of collapsing in Lagos, which has a population of around 20 million.
“There are over 1,000 distressed other buildings… in Lagos, which, if nothing is done to demolish them, they will still collapse, resulting to more calamities in the state,” said Kunle Awobodu of the Building Collapse Prevention Guild.
In March, more than 20 people, who were mostly children were crushed to death when a three-story building housing a primary school in the city of Lagos collapsed.
The building, like many homes in the area, had structural problems and had been marked for demolition several times, but city officials did not demolish it, Awobodu said at the time.