Two more bodies were on Saturday night recovered from the debris of the collapsed 21-story building at Ikoyi, bringing the death toll to 44, rescuers said on Sunday.
The bodies, both males, were discovered and extricated around 10 pm and midnight respectively, hours after Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu pegged official deaths in the disaster at 42.
Sanwo-Olu, during his visit to the scene, announced that chances of rescuing any victim alive were slim as he disclosed that 47 families had reported their loved ones, believed to have been in the building missing.
Acting Southwest Coordinator, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Ibrahim Farinloye, confirmed the recoveries, adding that no additional bodies were brought out on Sunday.
He said people were still believed to be trapped in the rubble, adding that rescuers were hopeful to achieve ground zero by Monday.
According to Farinloye, the Federal Government’s deployment of the Nigerian Army Corps of Engineers to assist in the rescue operation on Sunday evening was turned down by the Commissioner for Special Duties, Bamgbose Martins, on the ground that the work was almost over.
The Federal Government directed the Army Engineers to deploy equipment to the site and assist in removing the rubble but the Commissioner informed the team that resources on the ground were enough to complete the job left.
“Further to the deployment of Disaster Response Unit (DRU) on the first day of the incident, the FG directed the Army Corps of Engineers to assist in the operation. The Head of Army Corps Of Engineers, Brig.-Gen. Omali on arrival was received by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) who introduced the team to Lagos State Commissioners for Special Duties and Physical Planning.
The Corps Engineers’ team explained that a directive from Abuja directed the corps to deploy equipment to assist in carting away the rubble.
The Commissioner for Special Duties in response informed the team that the work is almost over and what was on the ground was enough to complete the work left,” Farinloye said.