Nigeria races to find survivors as 22 die in building collapse

Anxious relatives and large crowds gathered near the scene of the incident in hopes of hearing news about the fate of those still trapped under chunks of masonry and shattered steel where the building once stood.

Lagos National Emergency Management Agency coordinator Ibrahim Farinloye told Reuters via text message that the death toll had risen to 22 after several bodies were recovered overnight. Nine people were taken alive.

People buried under collapsed luxury skyscraper in Nigeria call for help

Building collapses are frequent in Africa’s most populous country, where regulations are poorly enforced and building materials are often lacking.

The Lagos state government said some infractions had occurred during construction earlier this year, but did not say whether they had been rectified.

The state’s chief architect was suspended indefinitely on Tuesday when the government launched an independent investigation into the causes of the collapse of what was slated to be a luxury apartment block. The results of the investigation will be made public.

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