Eight people died when a four-storey building collapsed in Nigeria’s commercial hub Lagos on Wednesday, emergency services said.
“Thirty-seven people were rescued alive and eight were recovered dead,” Ibrahim Farinloye of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said in a statement.
Police said they believed scores of people were trapped under the rubble.
The incident took place near Itafaji market on Lagos Island in Nigeria’s economic capital at around 10:00 am (0900 GMT).
In chaotic scenes, panicked parents, local residents and shocked onlookers rushed to the area as police, firemen and medics staged a massive rescue operation.
It was not immediately clear how many people were inside at the time of the collapse, nor were there any figures for the tally of dead or injured.
“We are still trying to find out how many are trapped inside,” said police officer Seun Ariwyo, who added that the number was probably scores.
Despite efforts to renovate the area, a large number of buildings remain abandoned or in a state of disrepair which
Building collapses are tragically common in Nigeria, where building regulations are routinely flouted.
In September 2014, 116 people died — 84 of them South Africans — when a six-storey building collapsed in Lagos where a celebrity televangelist was preaching.
An inquiry found it had structural flaws and had been built illegally.
And two years later, at least 60 people were killed when the roof collapsed at a church in Uyo, the capital of Akwa Ibom state, in the east of the country.