At least three dead after high rise under construction in Nigeria collapses

Rescue workers are seen at the site of a collapsed 21-story apartment building under construction in Lagos, Nigeria. Credit: AP

A 21-storey apartment building under construction in an upscale area of Nigeria's largest city collapsed, killing at least three people and leaving dozens more missing, officials and witnesses said on Monday.

Lagos Police Commissioner Hakeem Odumosu confirmed the deaths, but added that three survivors had been pulled from the rubble in Ikoyi by Monday evening.

Obafemi Hamzat, deputy governor of Lagos, arrived at the scene later, but was met with angry crowds who accused authorities of failing to launch rescue efforts immediately after the incident.

"For the past two hours since it collapsed nobody came here," one angry worker shouted towards him.

Dozens of people are still feared to be trapped under the rubble

Olayemi Bello told AP that five of his friends were trapped in the building and he feared the worst.

“When they finish work, they will come outside and they will play with us and talk about the work,” he said. “Now, nobody. All of them are dead”.

Construction worker Eric Tetteh, 41, said the teams were waiting for an excavator to arrive at the site when the building suddenly crumbled into a mound of debris.

"Me and my brother, we escaped, but more people are there...more than 100 people," he told AP.

At least three people were killed after the 21-storey building under construction collapsed. Credit: AP

Workers said the high rise, which collapsed in the Ikoyi area of Lagos, had been under construction for about two years.

It was not immediately known what caused the building to crumble into a mound of debris.

But such incidents are relatively common in Lagos because of poor enforcement of building code regulations.

Other observers blame construction lapses by private developers eager to meet demand for housing in the megacity.