Death toll now 20 in Lagos building collapse: State government

Many children feared dead, trapped as school building collapses in Nigeria (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

"We have been able to pull down the remaining part of the building", said Adebayo Kayende, spokesman for the Lagos state emergency agency.

The updated death toll came as bulldozers moved in to the area around the collapse to begin tearing down poorly-maintained and unsafe buildings.

Emergency services on Thursday said they had called off the search for survivors of a building collapse that killed nine in Nigeria's biggest city, Lagos, as anger mounted over dilapidated property and unscrupulous owners.

In total, 37 people were rescued.

Sunday said his family lived on the building's second floor and he sent his boys to school there so they wouldn't have to travel far.

Building collapses are tragically common in Nigeria, where building regulations are routinely flouted.

"It is a residential building that was actually accommodating an illegal school", said Ambode, the state governor, confirming that most buildings in the area had been marked for demolition but saying some landlords had defied the move.

Some 84 South Africans were among 115 people killed in 2014 after a guesthouse located within the church of prominent religious leader, TB Joshua, collapsed.

More news: Facebook and Instagram are down for users across the globe

Two manslaughter prosecutions are now being held in Lagos state after scores of people were killed in two separate building collapses in 2015 and 2016.

On Lagos Island, many buildings are poorly maintained and have had floors added without any apparent strengthening of the structure or foundations, making them ripe for collapse.

Government officials from Standard Organisation of Nigeria examine materials used in constructing the building that collapsed in Lagos, Nigeria, Thursday March 14, 2019.

According to Lekan Shodeinde, the General Manager of Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), about 180 houses will be demolished in the exercise, 20 of them will be brought down on Friday.

Residents said there had been a number of building collapses in the area over the last few years. "I don't know how long it has been", she said, as her eyes filled with tears.

"I just rented this place in January, barely three months ago".

"We are still trying to find out how many are trapped inside", said police officer Seun Ariwyo, who said there were probably scores.

It is characterised by its Afro-Brazilian architecture, a style brought over by thousands of freed slaves who headed back home after decades working the plantations in Brazil. "If they are doing this they should help us".

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