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Building collapse in Nigeria kills 20, mostly children, attending illegal school

Local people attend the scene after a building collapsed in Lagos, Nigeria, Thursday March 14, 2019. Search and rescue work continues in Nigeria a day after a building containing a school collapsed with scores of children said to be inside. A National Emergency Management Agency spokesman late Wednesday said 37 people had been pulled out alive, with eight bodies recovered from the ruins. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba) ORG XMIT: XSA112

LAGOS, Nigeria — Authorities in Nigeria say 20 people are confirmed dead in the school building that collapsed on Wednesday, and most of them are children.

Lagos State Health Commissioner Jide Idris tells The Associated Press that 43 other people were rescued alive.

Officials have said the three-story residential building had been marked for demolition and that the school was operating illegally on the top two floors.

Rescue crews halted their search on Thursday, to the anger of some at the scene, saying they had reached the building’s foundation without finding any other victims.

Building collapses are all too common in the West African nation, where new construction often goes up without regulatory oversight.