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29 November 2011

Technological Disaster in Nigeria on Tuesday, 29 November, 2011 at 04:16 (04:16 AM) UTC.

Image: Google Maps (Click on image for larger view.)

Seven persons were injured yesterday, when a storey building situated at No. 144 Oba Akran, Ikeja, Lagos partially collapsed. The building belongs to Haano Industries, a major importer of frozen fish in Lagos. The incident occurred at about 10:15am, while workers were offloading frozen food from containers into the warehouse. An eye witness said the victims are casual workers, who are paid daily based on the number of cartons loaded into the warehouse. He said: “As you can see, this warehouse was constructed recently by the management. Loading started about four days ago and each container contains 1,400 cartons of fish, with each carton weighing 25kg. As at yesterday, nine containers were loaded into the warehouse. “We resumed work early this morning because each worker here is paid 20,500 per container offloaded. A lot of workers came on time, so we had offloaded the first two containers and was on the next set when, suddenly, the upper part of the building came down on us. “Unfortunately, the guys who were injured were on the ground floor. We thank God none of them died, but they sustained serious injuries.”

The eye witness blamed the collapse on the pressure of the goods. He said: “Warehouses for cold rooms are not decked, the pressure of the products was just too heavy for the building and that could have resulted in the collapse.” General Manager, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) Mr. Femi Oke-Osanyintolu, who was at the scene, said three of those injured were taken to Critical Rescue International (CRI), while others were taken to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) for treatment. He confirmed that no life was lost in the incident. A mild drama ensued when Oke-Osanyintolu directed a crane operator to pull down the structure. The workers almost mobbed him, but for the intervention of some mobile policemen. The angry workers said their belongings were trapped in the warehouse, adding that they had not been paid for the day’s job before the building caved in. One of them, who joined the team barely 24 hours before the collapse, claimed that he had N480, 000 trapped under the rubble. He said: “I am a music artiste. My elder brother gave me the money yesterday (Sunday) for the shooting of my music video. But since I was going to resume early this morning, I wrapped it in a black nylon bag and kept it somewhere safe, hoping to take it to the bank on Tuesday (today).”