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Nigeria Construction - 2002-03-20

In Nigeria, the Lagos State government has arrested the contractors working on a high rise building that collapsed Sunday in Lagos. The government says they were using sub-standard materials and unqualified builders. The officials say work was continuing illegally at the site after officials had ordered it stopped. At least two people have been confirmed dead and as many as forty are believed to be trapped under the debris. Cases of collapsed buildings are common in Lagos, most of which is built on swampy ground. Last weekend's collapse occurred in Ikeja, central Lagos, about three kilometers from the site of January's bomb explosions in an army camp. Structural engineers had warned that the impact of the explosions could cause buildings to collapse, but government officials do not think that was the cause. Layi Raheem is the director for development control at the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning in Lagos. He spoke with reporter Lanre Arogundade at site of the building.