Rescue workers halt search of collapsed school building in Nigeria

Search efforts have been halted in Nigeria a day after a school building collapsed in Lagos with an unknown number of children inside.

Officials said the death toll was eight and could rise.

As some anguished families protested, a National Emergency Management Agency official said workers had reached the foundation of the collapsed three-storey building and did not expect to find more people.

He declined to give an updated death toll. Officials said on Wednesday that 37 people had been freed. An unknown number of people remain missing.

Emergency crews in Lagos worked through the night looking for survivors after a building collapsed (Sunday Alamba/AP)
Emergency crews in Lagos worked through the night looking for survivors after a building collapsed (Sunday Alamba/AP)

Frantic efforts had continued into the night to find signs of life in the debris.

It is not yet known what caused the collapse of the building containing a school in a crowded neighbourhood at the heart of Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos.

Lagos state governor Akinwunmi Ambode said the building, which had been marked for demolition, was classified as residential and the school was operating illegally on the top two floors.

A crowd of hundreds of people had cheered on Wednesday as dust-covered children were carried out one by one.

As many as 100 children had been in the primary school on the building’s top floors, witnesses said. Some authorities disputed that total.

“It touches one to lose precious lives in any kind of mishap, particularly those so young and tender,” said Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.

- Press Association

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