As many as 100 schoolchildren feared trapped in Nigerian building collapse

A Nigerian emergency official says eight people are dead in a collapsed school building and 37 people have been rescued alive.

Governor says school had been set up illegally; about 3 dozen people rescued so far

A child was rescued from the rubble of a collapsed building in Lagos, Nigeria, on Wednesday. Dozens of others are thought to be trapped as rescue efforts continue. (The Associated Press)

A Nigerian emergency official says eight people are dead in a collapsed school building and 37 people have been rescued alive.

The statement by National Emergency Management Agency spokesman Ibrahim Farinloye does not say how many children are among the dead and rescued. 
As many as 100 children were feared trapped on Wednesday after a building containing a private school collapsed in the country's commercial capital Lagos, an emergency agency spokesperson said.

Workers on top of the rubble shovelled debris away as thousands of people swarmed around the site to watch, many of them angry or hysterical, with police, ambulances, Red Cross workers, fire trucks and a forklift in their midst.

School said to be set up illegally

Rescue efforts are underway in Nigeria after a three-storey school building collapsed while classes were in session, with scores of children thought to be inside at the time. (Sunday Alamba/The Associated Press)

"The third floor of the building was housing a private school in the area," said Farinloye, adding the three-storey building came down at around 10 a.m. local time.

Early in the search, there were cheers as a boy believed to be around 10 years old was pulled alive from the rubble, but the crowd went quiet as another child was freed and did not appear to move.

The building was in the Ita-faji area of Lagos island, the original heart of the lagoon city before it expanded onto the mainland.

A woman cries as a body of child is recovered from the rubble. (Sunday Alamba/Associated Press)

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

There were residential apartments below the school, Cunningham reported. 

Nigeria is frequently hit by building collapses, with weak enforcement of regulations and poor construction materials often used. In 2016, more than 100 people were killed when a church came down in southeastern Nigeria.

People help a child after he was rescued from the scene of the building collapse in Lagos. (Sunday Alamba/Associated Press)

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.

With files from CBC News and The Associated Press