Several people have died and dozens are feared trapped after a building containing scores of school children collapsed in Nigeria.

The three-storey building, which housed a private school on the top floor, is thought to have come down at around 10am local time in Lagos on Wednesday.

Rescuers are understood to have pulled more than 25 children from the rubble, although local residents say the school has around 100 pupils on its books.

Akinwunmi Ambode, the governor of Lagos State, said during a visit to the scene that multiple people had been killed in the incident, offering his condolences to the victims’ families.

Mr Ambode added the school had been set up illegally and that buildings in the area were undergoing integrity testing.

Ibrahim Farinloye, spokesperson for the National Emergency Management Agency, said: “It is believed that many people including children are currently trapped in the building. The third floor of the building is housing a private school in the area.” 

Workers on top of the rubble shovelled debris away as thousands of people swarmed around the rescue site.

Many people at the scene were shouting and screaming. A fight almost broke out as anger at the collapse boiled over.

Ambulances, fire trucks and a fork lift were at the scene with rescuers from the Red Cross and police on hand.

Building collapses happen frequently in Nigeria, with weak enforcement of building regulations and poor construction materials often used.

In 2016, more than 100 people were killed when a church came down in southeastern Nigeria.

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In Lagos that same year, a five-storey building still under construction collapsed, killing at least 30 people.

A floating school built to withstand storms and floods was also brought down in Lagos in 2016, though nobody was reported injured.

The collapse comes as president Muhammadu Buhari, newly elected to a second term, tries to improve inefficient infrastructure in Africa’s most populous nation. 

There was no immediate comment on the building collapse from Mr Buhari’s office. Instead, as rescue work continued, his personal assistant posted on Twitter a photo of a gleaming new terminal at the airport in the capital, Abuja.

Additional reporting by agencies


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