LASG Yet to Fix Elevator That Killed Doctor in General Hospital

It’s been eight months and one week since a failed elevator killed Vwaere Diaso, a medical doctor at the General Hospital, Odan, Lagos State. FIJ can confirm that the elevator has neither been fixed nor replaced.

The workers who reside in the 10-storey building, where the elevator is stationed, have been using the stairs since August 2023, when the doctor died and the state government sealed the elevator area. the elevator area had been cordoned off with a wooden structure carrying a paper signpost.

The signpost bore the logo of the Lagos State Government and had phrases like “Restricted Area,” “Construction Site,” and “No Unauthorised Access.”

The signpost also had a phone number that showed the name “Lagos Safety Commission” when FIJ searched it on Truecaller, a caller identification app.

Although there was no worker or machinery in sight, close to the entrance of the doctors’ quarters was a big logo of Julius Berger, a leading construction company in Nigeria.

Close to the logo was a signpost indicating that the company was the contractor in charge of the “Rehabilitation Works at Doctor’s Quarters General Hospital Odan Lagos”. The duration written on the signpost was 32 weeks, from February 2024 to September 2024.

A female hospital staff member who stays in the building told FIJ that the elevator area had been sealed off for a while and there was no certainty on when it would be fixed.

“They haven’t fixed it. It’s been sealed for some time now. And we really have no idea when it will be fixed,” she said.

FIJ called the Lagos State Safety Commission, whose number was obtained on the signpost in the elevator area, but the calls were unanswered. A message sent to the commission has also not been responded to.

FIJ also contacted Gbenga Omotoso, the Lagos State Commissioner for Information, and he inquired about the last time the reporter visited the hospital. When he got a response, he said, “There is work going on there. When the accident happened, we said we were going to fix not just the elevator but the whole building because there are so many other things to be fixed.”

He also said that the construction was being handled by Julius Berger and added, “I hope you know it’s not a backyard construction company.”

Aside from the Julius Berger marker, FIJ noticed no indications that the structure was undergoing any ongoing repairs.