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Synagogue: Woman Walks Out From Rubble After Four Days

Synagogue: Woman walks out from rubble after four days
Scene of the collapsed SCOAN building on Tuesday.

Rescue workers, residents and others at the site of a collapsed six-storey structure belonging to the Synagogue Church of All Nations were on Tuesday excited by the rescue of a woman four days after the incident occurred.

Punch Metro learnt that the 45-year-old unnamed woman was sighted around 2AM as the rescue operation progressed.

It was said that the woman, who had been buried in the rubble since Friday, walked out as soon as the hindrances on her were removed.

Eyewitnesses said the woman came out thanking God and shouting hallelujah.

One of the eyewitnesses, who pleaded anonymity, told our correspondent that the latest survivor sustained minor injuries.

He said, “It was a miracle because nobody was expecting to rescue anybody alive. But immediately she came out, SCOAN members immediately took over things and took her away. Nobody here can say exactly where the woman is.”

When our correspondent sought information from SCOAN, one of its officials promised to provide him an update on the female survivor. However, he had yet to do so when our correspondent left the church premises at about 4.15pm on Tuesday.

But a foreign worker in the church told our correspondent to rejoice with them instead of asking questions.

She said, “It is indeed a miracle that someone could survive under that rubble for four days. We thank God for that and that is all we can say for now. If we have further developments, we will definitely let you know.”

Spokesman of the Nigerian Emergency Management Agency, Ibrahim Farinloye, said the woman was lucky to be alive.

Farinloye said that rescue workers had previously given up hopes of finding any more survivor from the rubble.

He said, “The survivor is hale and hearty, although she was traumatised. She sustained some injuries on her ankle and wrist. We did not allow her to talk; we just allowed her to be taken away for medical attention.

Farinloye added that with the rescue of the woman, workers have evacuated 131 people from the collapsed structure, while 61 dead bodies had also been taken out.

SON takes samples as Lagos seeks NCAA help

The Standards Organisation of Nigeria was at the site of the collapsed building on Tuesday.

The Head, Inspectorate and Compliance, SON, Mr. Bede Obaye, said that a team had taken samples of some of the materials used for the construction of the collapsed building, adding that the investigations would be comprehensive.

He said, “We have come here to see exactly what happened and we have watched the clip of what happened. But beyond that, we are here to investigate the remote causes of the collapse; to look at the materials and to ask questions about the engineers and contractors that handled the project.

“We have taken samples of the materials used, especially the steel materials.The Standards Organisation of Nigeria, in 2011, took steps to ensure that all steel products that are manufactured in this country are properly controlled and within the standard specification.

“That we have done and that is why today, we have been able to identify all the manufacturers of the steel products used for this construction and that is the first step that can lead to further investigation.

“Our investigation will not be limited to the materials alone. The materials may be right, but the selection and combination may be wrong. The contractor and engineer who handled the project will have to provide us with vital information.”

Meanwhile, the Lagos State Government on Tuesday said it planned to work with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority to unravel the mysterious plane that was linked to the collapsed building at the Synagogue Church.

The state’s Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr. Toyin Ayinde, said this while responding to questions on the issue at the Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners.

“Part of our plan is to get in touch with the NCAA, give them a copy of the clip so that they can tell us which aeroplanes were moving at about that time,” he said.

Ayinde said investigations were still ongoing and the issue of who to penalise for the tragedy was not certain yet.

He said, “If you are the owner of a building, and you have paid a consultant to build for you and he messes up and the building collapses, why should I penalise you?

“The sequence is that if a collapse has happened, there is investigation, engineers are working there and there will be more investigations.

“We can’t do much until after the rescue operations because we must know what kind of foundation that was there and that is the job of engineers.”

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