Some policemen and their families in Somolu, Lagos escaped death by the whiskers on Monday night when a two-storey building in the Pedro Police Barracks collapsed.
About 27 families were affected by the incident with each family having at least four members.
A resident and wife of a sergeant in the barracks, said, “It was around 8.30pm yesterday (Monday) evening. We just heard a rumble as if an earthquake had occurred. When we rushed out, we saw that a two-storey building, which is an extension of the main building, had collapsed with the staircases. We were using the collapsed building as our bathrooms and toilets, while a two-bedroom apartment on the ground floor was occupied by two families. What saved us was that many people were already in their sitting rooms and bedrooms. Otherwise, there would have certainly been casualties.
“The noise was so loud that the people living outside the police barracks came in to see whether an explosion had taken place. For now, some of us have started packing because we do not know which building is the next. As you can see, the state of the buildings are not different from one another.”
Another resident, Charles Averikson, urged the Federal Government to renovate the buildings in the barracks.
He said, “We want the government to come to our rescue. This building is the first victim of government’s negligence, we do not know which is the next. You can see that people are already packing out because we suspect another collapse. I was born and brought up here. You know collapses are common, especially as we enter the rainy season. We thank God the building did not collapse in the morning during our bath.
“Unfortunately, it is not that we do not pay. About N20,000 is being deducted from my dad’s salary every month. We also pay electricity and water bills. Why then should government neglect and fail to maintain the buildings here?”
The National Emergency Management Agency is presently looking into the collapsed structure to evaluate the extent of damage.
The NEMA spokesperson, South-west Zone, Ibrahim Farinloye, confirmed the news saying “A building collapsed at the Pedro Police Station Barracks. No one was trapped and there was no casualty. The occupants of a block of 27 units, who are families of serving police officers, have been evacuated. The building collapsed due to its weak structure.”