March 14, 2019

How much mourning and griefs can Africans cope with within a week? That is the empirical question on Africans and the diaspora’s minds as they learn about yet another horrific deadly incident on Wednesday, a building collapsed in Lagos, Nigeria that claimed the lives of many people, including young children.

The incident, the second major human casualties that occurred within a week at two of the continent’s major cities, reverberates across the continent and the rest of the world, making many Africans, and the diaspora feeling emotionally inundated, especially those who loss loved ones and friends to the two tragedies.

“The tragedies of this week have been gut-wrenching,” said a person who wants to remain anonymous.

The building, a high-rise residential apartment building located in a densely populated area of the city, housed a private nursery and elementary school on the top floor of the building. The school was unlicensed and operated illegally. An estimated 100 students, children were attending classes at the school when the building collapsed.

“The tragedies of this week have been gut-wrenching,”

Immediately after the building collapsed, volunteers rushed to the site to help rescue injured victims. More than 25 people have been rescued, including a young boy. But many children and adults were not so lucky. Those injured were rushed to the nearest hospitals for treatments. Many Nigerians showed up at the hospitals to donate blood and provide emotional support to the families of victims.

Six-years-old Adedayo Adedoyin and his twin sister went to school Wednesday morning. He died when the building collapsed. His twin sister, who was rescued and rushed to the nearest hospital for treatment is still in critical health condition and undergoing lifesaving treatments, a close friend of the family told The Africa Bazaar.

It is not yet known why the building collapsed late Wednesday morning, though many people living in the area hypothesize that it was due to unscrupulous landlords, developers and investors who often violate building codes by cutting corners. Two other such incidents have happened in the city in recent years, claiming more than 100 lives.

The State Governor of Lagos Akinwumi Ambode visited the site to provide emotional supports to parents and families who lost children or loved ones when the building collapsed.

The incident brings to mind other recent incident that took place in another country last month when a building exploded due to illegal contraband storage facility inside a residential building. In 2011, a clothing factory building collapsed in Bangladesh killing and injuring hundreds of people, which led to instituting new law to protect factory workers and improve ventilation systems in factories.