Lagos mosque collapse: How I escaped death – Survivor


One of the survivors of the collapsed mosque at Papa Ajao, Mushin, on Sunday, Mr Kazeem Babatunde, said he was terrified during the building collapse as he narrowly escaped death.

Babatunde, who was currently admitted at Mukaz Convalescent Health Centre, Mushin, told NAN on Monday that he was shocked when the building partially collapsed.

NAN reports that the incident occurred during the time for afternoon prayers at Mosjid Mutimain Mosque, situated at 64, Shotinoye Street, Papa Ajao, Mushin.

According to him, he had to ensure everyone ran for safety because he was the imam’s second in command.

“As you can see, I got injured in the head and leg. I just got stitched. I thank God for life. I am so sad about the loss of the 10-year-old girl,” Babatunde, popularly known as Baba Jeje, said.

The chairman of the mosque, Qasim Keshinro, while speaking with newsmen, said that he was also in the building when it collapsed.

He said the incident happened around 1:10 pm and almost claimed his life.

“I saw that the construction workers clearing the gutter had touched a part of the mosque building and I said, let me go to pray and attend to the situation. When I got back inside the mosque, I discovered that the tiles of the building were already falling apart.

“By the time we wanted to take the other exit, the building had partially collapsed right in front of our eyes.

“I was hit in the back and right now I am not feeling fine. The building partially collapsed and we only had a small place to escape,” he said.

Keshinro added that a 10-year-old girl died in the process and the second person who was pulled out of the building lost his leg.

“We had a case of one dead, two seriously injured and so many people,” he said.

He said that they immediately called the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency’s numbers but did not arrive on time.

“Immediately we saw the presence of the Mushin Local Government Chairman, who sympathised with us and calmed us down,” he said.

Keshinro added that the area only had one central mosque to pray in, appealing to the government to build a new mosque for the community.

“This is the only central mosque and we don’t have anywhere to pray again.

“As it is now, we don’t have anywhere to pray, and we are appealing for them to help clear the rubble and look in the direction of giving us another place to pray,” he said.

The Chief Imam of Lagos, Sheikh Sulaimon Oluwatoyin, who visited the victims to commiserate with them, said: “What we call safety cannot be compromised. We need to follow safety rules and regulations as a people and as Muslims.

“What we are seeing is carelessness and negligence, so I am appealing to people that we need to take that responsibility because it is the development of the people and community.

“This is a sad incident and we also appeal to our people to be prayerful. We need to be law-abiding and nobody is above the law. We pray that Almighty Allah be with the bereaved.”

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