An unknown number remained missing. Frantic efforts went on overnight to find signs of life in the debris. It was not yet known what caused the collapse of the three-story building in a densely crowded neighborhood at the heart of Nigeria' commercial capital, Lagos.
Building collapses are all too common in the West African nation, where new construction often goes up without regulatory oversight. Lagos state Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode has said the building, which had been marked for demolition, was classified as residential and the school was operating illegally on the top two floors.
Anguished families crowded around the flattened remains of the building. The crowd had cheered on Wednesday as dust-covered, shocked-looking children were carried out one by one. Other bodies hung limp over workers' shoulders.
As many as 100 children had been in the primary school on the building's top floors, witnesses said. Some authorities disputed that, but all grieved. "It touches one to lose precious lives in any kind of mishap, particularly those so young and tender," Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said.
The collapse came as Buhari, newly elected to a second term as president, tries to improve groaning, inefficient infrastructure in Africa's most populous nation.
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