Lagos (CNN)At least eight people were killed when a three-story building housing a school collapsed Wednesday morning in Lagos, Nigeria's commercial capital, an official of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) told CNN.
Building collapse in Nigerian city leaves schoolchildren trapped
Thirty-seven people have been rescued from the building which collapsed in the Ita-faaji area of Lagos Island, according to NEMA southwest region spokesman Ibrahimi Farinloye.
Lagos State governor Akinwunmi Ambode, who visited the scene earlier today, said many students and residents are feared trapped in the building.
Six children were pulled out of the rubble by rescue workers at the scene, Nigerian Red Cross official Raheem Jamiu told CNN at the scene earlier today.
Many of the rescued are still receiving medical treatment, authorities.
CNN witnessed two more young children being pulled out of the rubble. One of the children was alive, while the other appeared to be unconscious.
Rescue efforts are ongoing at the building, which included commercial shops at the base, homes at the top and a school on the second floor.
However, the school and shops were not authorized and were operating "illegally" in the building, which is meant solely for residential purposes, said Ambode. He added that many houses in the area had structural problems and would be demolished.
"The building is not technically a school, it is a residential building that was actually accommodating an illegal school, so to speak, on the second floor," he said.
Anxious parents waiting for their children to be rescued in the building told CNN, many buildings in the commercial hub in downtown Lagos are not safe.
"A lot the buildings here are not safe even from looking at the building, you should know no school should be here," Wale Wasiu told CNN.
Building collapses are frequent in Nigeria.
At least 100 worshippers were killed in a church in the southern state of Akwa Ibom after the roof caved in during a Sunday service in 2016.
In 2014, more than 70 people died after a two story guest house in a church collapsed in Lagos.