Death toll rises to 14 in Jos building collapse

More dead bodies have been recovered from the rubble of a three-storeyed building which collapsed in Jos, Plateau State, on Monday.

The National Emergency Management Agency said 14 persons had so far died and four others severely injured in the collapsed building at Delimi community in the Jos North Local Government Area of the state.

Head, Search and Rescue Operations at the North-Central office of NEMA, Mr Nurudeen Musa,  made this known to newsmen in Jos on Tuesday.

The Plateau Police Command, while confirming the incident on Monday night, had told the News Agency of Nigeria that three persons lost their lives in the incident, seven severely injured, while seven others were rescued unhurt.

Musa, however, told newsmen that the death toll had increased after the rescue operation conducted by a joint team of NEMA, State Emergency Management Agency, International Red Cross and security agencies.

“As of this afternoon, we recorded 14 deaths and four persons severely injured in the collapsed building,’’ he said.

The Coordinator, Disaster Management of the Red Cross in Plateau State, Mr Hussaini Zakari, said a total of seven corpses were pulled out during the search-and-rescue operation that lasted till late on Monday while additional four corpses were recovered when the rescue operation resumed on Tuesday morning.

Zakari, who added that the rescue operation would continue until all those trapped in the building were rescued, narrated his experience while speaking with our correspondent in Jos on Tuesday.

He said, “When the building collapse yesterday (Monday) around 5pm, we were called and on arrival,we found that one victim was rescued alive. We rushed him to Our Lady of Apostle hospital but they refused to admit him and instead advised that we should take him to JUTH for further medical examination. Given his critical condition with head injury and fractured arm, we decided to take him to a nearby Bingham University Teaching Hospital where they put him in intensive care unit.

“As we were about coming back to the site of the collapsed building, two of our members brought casualties that were confirmed dead by the doctors at the hospital. On our way to the gate, we saw another person being brought in by men of the state fire service accompanied by our own Red Cross officials. When we finally arrived at the scene of the collapsed building, four other people were recovered and all of them were confirmed dead but one other victim trapped in the rubble, who had been communicating with his relatives through his mobile phone was eventually rescued unhurt. Then late in the night, the owner of the building was recovered dead together with his pregnant daughter.”

He added, “Then this morning(Tuesday), three children, consisting of one male and two females, were recovered dead as well as a welder who was said to be involved in repair work in the building before it collapsed.

“So in all, we have recovered eleven dead bodies and two survivors.”