A 10-year-old boy who cried profusely “Mummy, I don’t want to go to school” is among the 13 primary school pupils who died and had been so far retrieved from the rubble of a three-storeyed building at Ita Faji, Lagos Island, that collapsed around 10.25 a.m.
A middle-aged woman (name witheld) was rolling on the ground as the dead child was retrieved from the wreckage that trapped more than 40 pupils and had so far injured 43.
The woman narrated to TVC NEWS reporter “My little son cried this morning. Mummy, don’t take me to school. I did not understand.
“My husband cajoled the boy and took him whose birthday fell on that day to school. See, what has befallen me. It means my son saw death, but I did not see. I did not even understand the language of the little boy,” the distraught mother wept.
The private school was said to be on the last floor.
A resident of the area, Prince Adams, who alerted our correspondent to the incident on the telephone, said no fewer than 10 pupils had been removed from the rubble so far.
“It is terrible. Parents are crying. I can’t withstand the gory sight,” he added.
Our correspondent heard cries on the background.
The spokesperson for the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Kehinde Adebayo, confirmed the collapse, adding that emergency officials were already on ground.
Some bystanders spoke against the school authority describing it as “illegal.”
Later, Lagos Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode who visited the school and pledged to settle medical bills of the victims.
Ambode pledged to close down illegal schools in the state which do not meet standards of Lagos State government Ministry of Education.
Straightnews gathered that the building a private reisdence was marked for demolition by Lagos State government.
It was equally gathered that a mother of four lost three though the fourth child was still under the rubble.
So far, 50 pupils have been rescued from the rubble though more rescue efforts are ongoing.
Other pupils have been taken to different hospitals and they are responding to treatment.