Two Sisters Die as 30 Year Old Building Collapses in Lagos

Sadly, two sisters in their late 20s have been confirmed dead after a two storey building collapsed in Lagos today.

The building situated at Block M20, Jakande Estate, Church Street, Oke-Afa, Isolo, Lagos collapsed at about 12 midnight killing the girls and leaving their mother with serious injuries.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the corpses of the girls, Toyin and Bukola Coker were taken away at 6.15 a.m today by some officials of the Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS). An official of the National Emergency Management Agency, also confirmed that there are no more bodies under the building’s rubble.

The building along with others within the vicinity were erected 30 years ago and were noticed to have severe cracks.

A man living in the neighbourhood, Mr Opeyemi Fagun told NAN that they noticed that the building had been sinking gradually for about a year. He said that the occupants had been warned to evacuate the building over a year ago when the walls started cracking.

According to him, occupants of one of the floors in the building had packed out early this year while the others remained.

The building was already sinking, shaking with cracked walls and they have been warned to pack out. When we heard a huge bang and a cloud of dust, we ran out and heard screaming from inside the rubbles; so, we went to dig the people out with our bare hands. But our efforts were futile as the girls were already dead,” he said.

Another neighbour, Kidochi Okonye, said that when they came out at about 12. 30 a.m. and saw what happened, they called the National Emergency Management Agency, the fire service and the Red Cross, but none of them came. He said that Red Cross officials eventually came by 6 a.m. when the dead sisters had been pulled out and they carried the corpses away.

One of the occupants of the first floor of the collapsed building, who refused to disclose her name, said that they came in by 9 p.m. on Tuesday and saw that their decking had cracked badly.

“My brother went upstairs to warn the Cokers but they did not take heed to the warning and we decided not to sleep in that building. We were seated outside when we heard a bang and started screaming for help. It was so fast that I can’t describe it; I wish I could have helped them, but I just could not,” she said.

Meanwhile, officials of the Lagos State Building Control Agency visited the area of the collapsed building this morning and marked eight other structures for demolition. The agency also ordered all occupants of structures near the collapsed building at the Jakande Estate, Isolo in Lagos State to vacate their premises within 48 hours.

Most buildings within the vicinity have structural weaknesses and signs of imminent collapse.

The sad death of these ladies should serve as a warning to other residents living in buildings already having large cracks and showing signs of structural weakness. We know that with the country’s harsh economic conditions, the task of changing accommodation gets tough, but it is better to be safe than sorry. We pray their souls Rest In Peace.

Photo Credit: Channels TV | Sahara Reporters

26 Comments on Two Sisters Die as 30 Year Old Building Collapses in Lagos
  • Ms E November 21, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    this is just sad
    Father please take control.
    Every1 please be ready at all times. love the Lord and do it with all your heart. Any1 can leave this earth at anytime, its not just for certain people.
    So please make peace with everyone around you, read your bible and pray.

  • StephanieIj November 21, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    Sad.. May their souls Rest In Peace, Amen.

  • ChiboyChuks November 21, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    Awwww… May their souls rest in peace

    Kindly, visit: http://www.chiboychuks.blogspot.com

  • nene November 21, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    sad. nigerians need to value their life more than anything. if something is bad for you, don’t do, find another alternative. RIP to the 2 girls.

  • claribell November 21, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    So sad, May their souls rest in perfect peace.

  • R November 21, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    Unfortunate. Especially painful that it might have been avoided had the warning been heeded

  • Obi November 21, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    1. May God comfort and heal their mother. May she find peace and love all the days of her life.
    2. This is a warning to building contractors. Please do your job well and without shortcuts cos lives depend on your honesty and diligence.
    3. I realize the building was 30yrs old or so (according to the story). It is old to some extent, but not old enough to collapse if it was strong enough to begin with. Again, contractors please be diligent and honest in your work. Landlords, do not take shortcuts so that you can invest very little and start making massive gains in only a short time. I know Lagos is tough and good (affordable and nice) accommodation sometimes hard to find. But please, check the house/ do an inspection before you move in otherwise, when things happen, landlord may answer queries, but whose life will be in danger?

  • Iris November 22, 2012 at 12:45 am

    So Red Cross came at 6 to do what? *hiss*

  • Athena Ray November 22, 2012 at 12:50 am

    There is no excuse for a thirty year old building not to be demolished or revamped. They also need to stop constructing with concrete and use dry wall which is harmless when it falls on a person .These ppl probably had nowhere to go and decided to live at such a place We dont have to live like this Nigerian ppl need to hold the government accountable everybody should protest peacefully and ask for what we really deserve. May their gentle souls rest in peace and may God help us get out of this misery in Nigeria.

  • Nma November 22, 2012 at 2:06 am

    “…they called the National Emergency Management Agency, the fire service and the Red Cross, but none of them came. He said that Red Cross officials eventually came by 6 a.m. when the dead sisters had been pulled out and they carried the corpses away.”

    ^^^This ish right here!!! SMH

  • kikelomo November 22, 2012 at 5:18 am

    Just too bad….too bad….rest in peace….2 sisters.

  • Monica November 22, 2012 at 6:40 am

    just too sad for words. may God wipe away every tear shed by the family.

  • Ginika November 22, 2012 at 7:35 am

    I think the government needs to go around Lagos and mark buildings that are not worthy either
    due to their age or their structural stability; then demolish them.

  • pynk November 22, 2012 at 7:46 am

    too bad sha may they RIP.

  • temitope November 22, 2012 at 8:14 am

    the building is a jakande building without any balcony and back door in case of any emergency. All jakande buildings are in sorry states, u guys need to see the one at iponri with cracked walls showing that the buildings can collapse any time…….yeah, jakande provided low cost housing for the masses but the houses were poorly built…..imagine a 2 or 3 storey building without any balcony and only one entrance, something needs to be done about those houses……may the girls’ souls rest in peace.

  • Bimby November 22, 2012 at 8:38 am

    So, sad. May the souls of the ladies RIP.
    @Ms E: I concur. May our lives not be cut short in their primes IJN.

  • Adeori Omoba November 22, 2012 at 8:50 am

    May their souls rest on peace..God Help Us…

  • oma November 22, 2012 at 10:02 am

    its so sad…… I am sure it was the cost of getting a new place that prevented most from moving. Landlords are not asking for 1yr but 2 yrs despite Lagos State’s edict. i tried getting a shop in Akowonjo and the owner of the plaza who is a Pastor insisted on 2yrs. I wish they had moved at least to a self contained instead of risking their lives. so sad indeed ….. so so sad

  • Wee November 22, 2012 at 10:10 am

    …I met Toyin while at CMUL…I could only scream a deep wrenching cry when I confirmed the face I thought looked like hers was actually her! Oh! How I wish they had heeded that warning and not stayed in the flat…very sad.

  • Ade November 22, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    I feel for the family. They probably had no means of relocating. However, I think there are some lessons here and the most important is safety first. Every news I’ve read online have one thing in common; the mother was warned some minutes before 12 am, at least thirty minutes before the building collapsed. There were other tenants in the building but they managed to escape before it happened. The truth is nothing can replace her loss now.
    Another sad lesson is the poor maintainance culture that we have in this country. There are buildings that have been construction for over 50 yrs and are still standing strong. If attention had been paid to the buildings over the years, this could have been prevented. May the girls RIP.

  • Akintuyi Abike November 22, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Well, this is quite an unfortunate piece of news and my heart goes out to all the victims and their loved ones. May God give them the fortitude to bear their loss. I live in the same estate, have lived their since 1986. I watched as a neighboring block was demolished because of cracks that appeared on all sides of the building. But then, the occupants were lucky. The then Military Governor, Buba Marwa, allocated another block of flats to them and the transition was easier and smoother for them. I know, the victims’s family must have known the danger they were courting by their continued stay there, but perhaps, weightier issues such as finance could have really handicapped them to have succumbed to the maxim of penny wise life foolish.
    However, what most people do not know is the fact that notwithstanding the ages of most of these houses, many occupants are simply the architect of a doomed building. in a bit to renovate and create a modern interior, many have employed the services of artisans who cannot determine the structural integrity of the building. And so, they hack, pull, knock , chisel and do all manner of tearing apart to satisfy the demands of the owners. The result is a gleaming residence under the threat of a collapse. Now, they want to fit a Jacuzzi into the bathroom and add extra toilets to an apartment that was not structured for such.
    The Jakande Estates block of flats are simply a cushion to many in this era of non existent and very expensive housing projects, but it must be maintained in such a way that it could continue to serve many years after the demise of those who initiated it.
    My last word is that the regulatory body assigned to the development and maintenance of the estate should wake up from their slumber and take the necessary pro active steps needed to save the other blocks from a similar fate. Abeg o, I never wan make them demolish my block o.

  • Lulu November 22, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    Hmnnnnn, so sad :(

  • Lilian Nzenwata November 22, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    From the whole of us In marywood grammer School, Bukola Coker, you will be greatly missed…. R.I.P

  • Anonymous November 22, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    I also recognised Toyin (knew her in Lag before they moved to Medilag) but I was hoping it wasn’t her. May God rest their souls and comfort their family at this difficult time.

  • Flawless November 25, 2012 at 11:25 am

    God knows best! I shared my childhood years with toyin&bukky. Such lovely girls…they went thru sooooo much to get to d point that is now d end for them. I pray they r in a beautiful place now. A place wia theres enternal peace. & may Almighty God give thier mum succor to bear yhis great loss. *heartbroken*

  • Arminda Stockert November 26, 2012 at 8:21 am

    It is sad, they die very young. RIP.

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