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Church roof collapse in southern Nigeria kills 160

16 December 2016

PA

Disaster: the Reigners Bible Church in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria, collapsed on Sunday, killing at least 160 people. The state government has launched an inquiry into what caused the collapse

Disaster: the Reigners Bible Church in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria, collapsed on Sunday, killing at least 160 people. The state government has launc...

AT LEAST 160 people were killed when a church roof collapsed on to wor­shippers in southern Nigeria, on Sunday.

The Reigners Bible Church in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, was still under construction, and witnesses said that contractors had rushed to finish work in time for the weekend service to ordain a bishop.

During the service, however, metal girders and the corrugated-iron roof caved in, crushing wor­ship­pers under­neath. The Bishop, the Rt Revd Akan Weeks, escaped unhurt.

The Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel, was inside the church when it collapsed, but was able to escape. He said that the state would hold an inquiry into the collapse, investigating whether sub­standard workmanship was to blame. Posting on his Facebook page, he said that he “personally super­vised rescue operations and evacuation of the injured to hospital”.

”The state government will bear the medical cost of all those injured. We note that we have never had such a shocking incident in the history of our dear state. Govern­ment will, therefore, set up a high-powered panel of inquiry to ascer­tain the immediate and remote causes leading to the collapse of the building with a view to forestalling the recurrence of such incident, and bring to book persons found to have compromised professional stand­ards in the construction of the building.”

He ordered the arrest of the con­tractor responsible for the construc­tion of the building, the state-run News Agency of Nigeria reported.

A hospital director told the Asso­ciated Press that at least 160 people had been killed by the roof collapse.

In September 2014, 115 people, including 84 South Africans, were killed in Lagos after the collapse of a church belonging to the Nigerian televangelist T. B. Joshua (News, 19 September 2014).

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