- At least 100 people are feared dead following a collapse of shopping mall under construction on Tuesday in Nigeria's capital Abuja.
Rescue workers who tried to find survivors in the heap of debris said more than 50 people in complex could not yet be accounted for, raising fears they could still be trapped in rubble.
A five-storey building which started four months ago, collapsed about 3.20pm local time, trapping labourers and petty traders, eye-witnesses said, also adding that those trapped in the collapsed structure included labourers and women and girls selling food and other smaller itmes to workers.
Some survivors said the collapse started from ground floor. Mr Abubakar Sadiq from Zaria in Kaduna State and Mr Idris from Kano said they were able to run out because they were on the last floor doing casting.
Mr Idris said: "I was on ground floor, but my spirit pushed me to climb up, and as I was climbing the building, stair case was falling off my feet. I only escaped by skin of the teeth."
According to the victim, Hamisu Abdullahi from Kano, the whole floors were filled with labourers, who were supervised by site engineer. "All of them are still inside, including engineer," he said. Hamisu said after regaining consciousness, he crawled out through the back of the structure.
A staff of one of nearby companies, Mr Kabiru Musa blamed contractors for using sub standard materials to erect structures at the site. "When I passed site yesterday, I predicted something like this would happen because of large number of labourers working on site and thin pillars holding structures," he said.
The scene of destruction attracted a large crowd of onlookers, majority were outraged and angered by what seem to be a common trend in Nigeria of massive buildings to collapse, killing people.
Between 40-50 construction workers were believed to be working in the building when it collapsed, police confirmed. The four-storey building would have become the largest shopping center in Nigeria's capital.
Several buildings have collapsed in Nigeria in recent times, raising concerns over whether sub-standard building materials are being used by construction firms desperate to cut corners and maximise their gains.
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