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Africa

Search called off in Nigeria building collapse as residents say more still trapped

media Rescuers on site at the scene of the building collapse on Lagos Island, Nigeria RFI/ Ahmed Abba

Emergency services in Lagos, Nigeria have called off the search for survivors in a building collapse that killed at least nine people. According to local media, residents of the area believe that more people are still trapped in the rubble.

"All those trapped have been evacuated and the rescue operation has ended," Kehinde Adebayo, spokesman for the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) told AFP newswire.

He added that final casualty figures would be released later.

But residents on Massey Street, where the multi-storey building also illegally housed a nursery and a primary school, told Punch newspaper that there are more people waiting to be rescued under the rubble.

Emergency services found one body earlier Thursday morning, bringing the death toll to nine. The names of the victims have not been released.

The National Emergency Management Agency said 37 people had been rescued alive.

Residents told AFP that some 144 pupils were in attendance in Ohen Nursery and Primary School on Wednesday, when the building collapsed mid-morning, but that a number of pupils were off campus participating school activities.

Officials dispelled concerns that more may be trapped in the rubble. “I have seen the picture of the building before it collapsed and I can confirm to you that the floor that housed the school cannot accommodate up to 100 pupils,” said Adeshina Tiamiyu, the general manager of LASEMA, speaking at the site of the collapsed building on Thursday morning.

Lagos State governor Akinwunmi Ambode said the building had been earmarked for demolition.

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