"We quickly mobilised and began some rescue operation and we had rescued more than 20 people before the emergency workers arrived".
Lagos State Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode, who visited the scene on Wednesday, said the school was not authorized to operate in the building, which was designed exclusively for residential purposes.
We earlier reported that over 100 pupils are feared dead, after a school building collapsed moments earlier in at Itafaji, Lagos Island, Lagos State.
Workers on top of the rubble shovelled debris away as thousands of people swarmed around the site to watch, many of them angry or hysterical, with police, ambulances, Red Cross workers, fire trucks and a forklift in their midst.
Rescue efforts are underway in Nigeria after a three-story school building collapsed while classes were in session, with scores of school children thought to be inside at the time.
Miss Bukola Salami, a former teacher in the school housed in the ill-fated building, said the owner of the learning institution had been told to move out, but resisted on account that she had no money to rent another apartment.
He added that there are many similar buildings in the Lagos Island area that are also at risk.
The president while offering his commiserations to the families of the victim, charged the Lagos State government to take measures to prevent the recurrence of the incident.
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A spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency's southwest region said casualty figures were not yet available but that many people including children were believed to be trapped. All three of my friend's kids attend the school and she lost all of them. Instead, as the rescue work continued, the president's personal assistant posted on Twitter a photo of a gleaming new terminal at the airport in the capital, Abuja.
The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has vowed to demolish all illegal school buildings in the Ita Faji area of the state.
It's gathered that over 100 students are now still trapped and being dug out.
"We must continue to save lives and would intensify our efforts to see that those that have failed our integrity test are brought down", he said.
The children's rights group Plan International Nigeria called on the Lagos state government to "launch an inquiry into the incident, and ensure that all persons found culpable for dereliction of duties are punished".
The building, it was learnt, had been marked for demolition by officials of the Lagos State Building Control Agency.
On speculations that many are still trapped under the rubble, Adesina said rescue operations would be gradual and painstaking, "so as not to further endanger the lives of those trapped underneath the rubble".