The Lagos State Government reported that a mosque in the Papa Ajao area collapsed on Sunday, resulting in the death of an 11-year-old girl. The collapse was caused by an excavator clearing the road in the area.

Gbenga Omotoso, the Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, confirmed the incident on X.com, stating that 10 people were initially believed to be trapped when the building caved in. He added that one body was recovered from the rubble, while the rescued victims received pre-hospital care. One severely injured individual was transferred to the hospital for further treatment.

Omotoso’s post read: “Building collapse at Papa Ajao. A storey building has collapsed on Yusuf Street, Papa Ajao, Lagos. An excavator clearing a road hit a storey building, a mosque, which collapsed. Four injured persons were rushed to hospital; 10 people were believed to have been trapped in the rubble. Rescuers are on the site. One body was retrieved; the others received pre-hospital care. One with serious injuries was transferred to hospital. All Lagos State emergency agencies are at the scene.”

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The state Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, also confirmed the tragedy, identifying the recovered body as that of an 11-year-old girl. He noted that the rescue operation was ongoing.

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The collapse occurred around 1 p.m. during afternoon prayers. While some worshippers managed to escape, others were trapped under the rubble. Residents and emergency responders, including the police, rushed to the scene to begin rescue operations.

Witnesses reported that the excavation work, being carried out by officials of the Mushin LG to pave the way for drainage, led to the collapse. The excavator had dug too close to the foundation of the mosque, causing it to give way.

Resident Omobolanle Agunbiade, a local trader, said, “I was coming from church when the incident happened at about 1 p.m. The building collapsed to this side (pointing to the debris). The building has been in existence for several years without issues, but the depth of the excavation for the drainage construction caused the collapse.”

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Another resident, Akeem Adeniyi, mentioned that the operator of the excavator fled the scene following the collapse. “I was working in a shop nearby when I saw the building collapsing. People were running helter-skelter while others tried to rescue the victims before emergency responders arrived. The ongoing excavation created a vacuum at the foundation of the building, forcing it to cave in.

The operator fled upon seeing the collapse,” he said.