Lagos, Nigeria — Rescue efforts were underway in Nigeria on Wednesday after a three-story building housing a school collapsed while classes were in session. About 100 children were thought to be inside at the time of the collapse, but there were conflicting reports about how many might be missing in the rubble.
Associated Press video from the scene showed at least one dust-covered child being carried out of the crumbled concrete. Onlookers crowded around the area in the densely populated neighborhood in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital. They cheered as the child was lifted out. Hundreds of people stood in narrow streets and on rooftops of rusted, corrugated metal. A yellow excavator scooped at the ruins.
A rescuer on the scene told French news agency AFP that “at least 10 children” were still inside the building and they were “thought to be alive.”
Ibrahim Farinloye, a spokesman for Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency, told CBS News partner network BBC News that the building came down around 10 a.m. local time.
“It is believed that many people including children are currently trapped in the building,” he told the BBC.
Reuters reported that about 100 pupils attended the school, which was on the third floor of the building, and that seven had been pulled alive from the rubble.
Sani Datti, a spokesman with Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency, told The Associated Press that officials from the agency and other emergency services were at the site.
“For now we don’t have any word on casualties as we are still busy with rescue work,” he said.
Building collapses are common in Nigeria, where new construction often goes up without regulatory oversight.