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Dozens of School Children Feared Dead After Collapse of Residential Building In Lagos

After several hours of clawing through mountains of debris with bare hands, hammers and heavy equipment, approximately 37 people have been rescued from a building that collapsed Wednesday morning in the Nigerian city of Lagos. But many more are trapped under the rubble, including dozens of children.

Several news outlets reported at least eight people died, as of Wednesday night.

According to a report from BBC Africa, official have rescued 40 children so far have been rescued alive from the residential building, while at least eight have been found dead.

The cause of the destruction is still unknown, however a local witness by the name of Mohammed Muftau told BBC Africa that cracks had previously been seen in the building and that concerns over its the safety had been raised. According to The New York times, some witnesses claimed that the building had been previously marked with an “X” to denote that it was dilapidated and in need of repair.

The collapsed building also housed a nurse and primary school, according to The New York Times.

Distressing footage shared on social media show children being transferred to ambulances on stretchers and large crowds forming at the site, with parents arriving to search for children under the rubble.

Rescue efforts are still ongoing, and local members of the community have stepped in to assist, reports BBC Africa.

The incident raises several obvious questions around infrastructural issues in Africa’s largest metropolis, which residents have been pushing the government to address for years.

This is far from the first instance in Lagos. In 2016 a five-story bundling collapsed in the midst of construction, killing at least 34 people, while that same year over 100 people died after a church caved in, in Uyo.

Nigerians have been responding to the tragedy on social media, with many lambasting the government for the lack of systems put in place to protect citizens.

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