Daniel Okereke, landlord of the building that sank in Maryland, Lagos State, has countered the statement by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) that he escaped from the “sinking building” leaving the tenants to their fates.
Mr Okereke said he took his pregnant wife to the hospital, but when he returned, emergency responders were at his residence, adding that “nobody was rescued from the property.”
Meanwhile, NEMA said in a statement Monday that nine residents were rescued from the building at Akinyemi Street, Akinwunmi Estate, Mende, Maryland, Lagos, after it was sank by heavy rainfall.
The agency said the landlord of the building escaped, after failing to notify them about the situation, adding that one of the survivors, identified as Ms Blessing, said those affected were mostly females.
Ms Blessing said that she informed her employers on their office WhatsApp group that she wouldn’t be coming to work due to the situation.
“I forwarded the picture to my group, and my office reacted. Our safety management was the one who called the rescue agents,” she said.
She said that the residents used the landlord’s ladder because the stairs were flooded, adding that an emergency responders team swam inside the compound to carry them out.
“The landlord of the building had used a ladder to escape but NEMA questioned him for failure to contact emergency responders but someone from one of the trapped victim’s office contacted NEMA,” stated the environmental agency.
Also, the Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service said that when they got to the scene, they “discovered that nine female adults were trapped in a storey building which is sinking given the terrain of the environment and coupled with the overnight heavy rain downpour leading to flooding.
“The Firefighters swiftly swung into action, rescuing all nine alive without any form of injury with the compliments of other emergency responders at the scene.
“The rescued victims are all in stable condition while search and rescue operations have been concluded with the evacuation of all at risk,” it added.
However, residents of the area said flooding was a common sight in the community.
Tosin Ademuyiwa, one of the survivors of the incident, said that the landlord left a ladder on the balcony of the building for them to have access to the ground.
She said that the constant rain in the area contributed to the collapse of their fence.
“The fence fell due to the rain and the water entered our compound. Immediately the fence fell, and the water came into our house,” Ms Ademuyiwa added.