AT least eight people have died after a three-storey school building collapsed in Nigeria, with rescue crews saying that 37 others were rescued from the rubble alive.

Anguished families crowded around the flattened remains of the building in Lagos which housed an elementary school, holding out hope more children would still be found alive.

Scenes of jubilation erupted earlier in the day when a man was brought out alive, but the mood shifted dramatically when another man was brought out dead.

The evening call to prayer could be heard as hundreds anxiously waited in the city’s Ita Faji area, trying to help in rescue efforts.

As many as 100 children had been in the primary school on the building’s top floors, witnesses said.

Lagos state governor Akinwunmi Ambode said the building, which had been marked for demolition, was classified as residential and the school was operating illegally.

ELSEWHERE, the 737 inmates on the largest death row in the United States are getting a reprieve from the California governor, who plans to sign an executive order placing a moratorium on executions.

Gavin Newsom is also withdrawing the lethal injection regulations that death penalty opponents are challenging in court.

“The intentional killing of another person is wrong and as governor, I will not oversee the execution of any individual,” he said.

Newsom called the death penalty “a failure” that “has discriminated against defendants who are mentally ill, black and brown, or can’t afford expensive legal representation”.

He also said innocent people had been wrongly convicted and sometimes put to death.

California has not executed anyone since 2006, when Arnold Schwarzenegger was governor.

LASTLY, officials from India and Pakistan have met amid easing tensions to discuss a visa-free border crossing to allow pilgrims to easily visit a Sikh Shrine just inside Pakistan.

Instead of visas, the two countries plan to give special permits to devotees to access the shrine, the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Narowal border district.

The shrine was built where the the founder of the Sikh religion, Guru Nanak, died in what is now Pakistan’s Kartarpur.

It is visible from the Indian side of the border where Indian Sikhs often gather on vantage points to view the shrine.

It is unclear how long the construction of a border corridor would take or when the crossing will actually open.

Tensions between India and Pakistan flared last month after a suicide attack killed 40 Indian paramilitary soldiers.