Three persons were injured yesterday in a one-storey building collapse at 35, Adesanya Street, Mafoluku, Oshodi, Lagos.
The Nation gathered that the house was being renovated when it fell at 8:15am.
Officials of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) have demolished the rest of the building.
It was also learnt that the house was sealed off years ago before it was bought and people started living there last December.
An eye witness, Mrs Mariam Saheed, said she heard the sound of a truck pouring sand and went outside only to see that the building had collapsed.
“When we got outside we discovered that three people were trapped inside the building but they were all rescued around 9:25am by neighbours, including my husband.”
She said Godfrey, one of the injured, had a broken leg.
The two others, Mariam and Promise are sisters. One of them had difficulty in breathing and is still in the hospital; the other with bruised face, hands and legs had been discharged.
The witness said the owner of the house and his wife had gone to church when the incident happened, noting that they returned.
She said: “The building is over 40 years old. It is the first storey building in this area and has been abandoned for years before these people bought it. We were told that the ground floor of the building was meant to be used for church so it was being renovated, while the family that bought the house lived upstairs. The man who bought it is a pastor.
“I learnt the house had been abandoned for about seven years because when I came to this area three years ago, I met it abandoned. I learnt the family bought the house and I know they moved in last December and renovation began about two weeks ago. They had built four pillars. They stopped on Friday. The contractor was here this morning to continue work, only to meet the house collapsed. I learnt he has been arrested.
“Today is the birthday of the Pastor, so, many of those in the house left for church early this morning (yesterday) if not, more people would have been trapped.
“They usually put their generator upstairs and leave it on overnight, maybe it is part of what weakens the house.”
The house, she noted, was a joint for boys in the area smoking Indian hemp before the family moved in last December.
The Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), via its Twitter page, said the building “suddenly came down with two people said to be trapped and rescued and taken to a nearby hospital by neighbours before the arrival of the Agency’s LASEMA Rescue Team (LRT).
“The building was undergoing illegal renovation before it collapsed this morning. There is an urgent need for complete demolition of the building before it causes any further disaster,” it said.