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Relatives of the victims of the collapsed Lekki Gardens building that was under construction on Tuesday, March 8, following a heavy downpour along Kushenla Road, Ikate Elegushi in the Lekki area of the Lagos State, are yet to come to terms with the fact that they lost their loved ones in such a manner.

Read: “Collapsed Lekki Building (Update): Death toll in crumbled 5-storey house rise to 35; contractor arrested”

At the last count, about 35 people lost their lives in the disaster, including a mother and her four children who had come all the way from Benin Republic to look for her husband who had not gone home for a while.

Many of the dead were artisans and workers who slept in the uncompleted building, awaiting the break of dawn so that they could continue their work.

A Hausa community leader, Awa Hassan, narrated that his people were some of the most affected in the tragedy, adding that the Hausa community in the area lost about 20 persons to the calamity.

Hassan identified some of the dead as Abbah Alli, Mustapha, Yakub, Yusuf, Yunis, John, Ado, Ibrahim, Johnson, Isiaku, Bala, Seidu, Gwani, Buhari and Ali.

“There are about 20 of our people involved in this tragedy. Maria was inside the building with her four children. We have not seen her corpse yet.”

According to a relative of Abbah Alli, a 35-year-old father of two, Athom, he was speaking with his family while under the rubble, calling for help, adding that he could have been saved if the emergency workers had responded on time.

Read: “Collapsed Lekki Building (Update): Mother, child, 17 confirmed dead in crumbled 5-storey house”

Athom said he lost two brothers in the rubble:

“I lost two brothers to this incident – Abbah and Abdullahi. Abbah spoke with us from morning till afternoon and said there was a slab on his leg. He picked his calls and begged us to get help.

They could not save him on the Tuesday that the building collapsed. It was on Wednesday morning that they brought out his corpse and that of Abdullahi. We discovered that Abbah’s leg was broken.”

Another family in Ogun State were in disarray as they looked for a relation, identified as Olayinka Oyeleye.

The 27-year-old was said to have left the Ajah area for Lekki Phase 1 Horizon the week before to work. He was said to have slept in the building on the night and became trapped.

A Red Cross official who was part of the rescue team said that Oyeleye’s mother suddenly developed an undisclosed medical condition at the scene and they had to treat him.

“She told us he was her first child and she had been looking for him. She developed a problem and we had to stabilise her before she was released.”

A relative of the missing man, Adesanya Olusola, said:

“We came from Ijebu Ode and we have been around since 3am. We know he was among the workers because one of his friends who escaped called us from the hospital to inform us.”

A Ghanaian, Emmanuel Semadou, said he was also searching for four of his Togolese friends who worked at the site.

See photos of the collapsed building in Pulse Gallery.

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