I Was Already Saying My Final Prayers – Artisan Who Survived Ikoyi Building Collapse Recounts Experience

Recounting his horrendous experience under the debris, Lateef said he was in a bent position for several hours and became so weak that he nearly passed out.

 

Scene of the incident

A young man simply identified as Lateef has thanked God for surviving the horrific Ikoyi building collapse.

According to The PUNCH, it was observed that the impact of the building collapse affected Lateef’s left eye, chest, back and right leg. The 32-year-old artisan said he never believed he could have another shot at life after he found himself trapped in the rubble.

He said, “It was God’s mercy that I survived. I begged him for mercy because I thought the end had come. I had concluded that I would die and decided to say final prayers so that I would make heaven.”

Recounting his horrendous experience under the debris, Lateef said he was in a bent position for several hours and became so weak that he nearly passed out.

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He added, “There was a lighter with me. I turned it on and saw dead bodies everywhere. Bricks had fallen on some people and they were struggling to breathe. It was a horrible way to die and I don’t wish it for my enemies. I was touching the heads of dead people. With this experience, I will never work in high-rise buildings again.”

Saturday PUNCH abruptly ended the conversation with Lateef as nurses and security men parading the hospital corridor became suspicious.

The PUNCH correspondent also entered another ward where Oduntan and three other survivors were admitted.

Surprisingly, one would hardly notice Oduntan was a victim as there was no visible mark of injuries on his body. “It was the grace of God,” he said, beaming with excitement.

Oduntan, who resides in the Agege area of the state, said he started working at the site four weeks ago as a labourer, adding that he and few others were eating in the backyard of the building when the tragedy struck.

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He recounted, “We were all confused and ran to hide somewhere. I hid near a container. Everywhere was cloudy and dark; we couldn’t see anything. I heard the sound of something crashing towards the spot where I hid and shifted my body. A brick fell on my right hand. I struggled to pull it off and came out myself. It was just God that saved me. Everything happened within seconds.

“I called for help and some people assisted me to rescue Sunday (Monday) and two other persons close to where I hid. We wanted to rescue more people but police chased us away from the site.

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