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27 died, 37 injured in Uyo Church collapse says Police

Akwa Ibom police commissioner, Murtala Mani said 27 people died when the uncompleted Reigners Bible Church collapsed on Saturday in Uyo.

It was the first official figure to be released about the tragedy and debunked speculations that as many as 60 or 120 died in the incident.

Mani also said 37 people were injured.

Mani, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday that the casualty figures were collated at the end of evacuation exercise late Saturday.

Mani also said that 37 persons who sustained injuries were receiving treatment in three hospitals.

“For now, we can confirm that 27 persons died during the church building collapse on Saturday.

“We have concluded rescue operation but we are monitoring the situation to see what happens further,” Mani said.

The victims evacuated from the collapsed church along Uyo Village Road near Government House, were receiving treatment at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, St Lukes Hospital, Ibom Specialist Hospital and Lifecare Hospital.

The state Chairman of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr Aniekeme Uwah, said that 22 bodies were deposited at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital.

Uwah, who could not confirm the total number of deaths in other hospitals, said that he had mobilised all medical practitioners in the state to be part of the rescue operations.

He said that it was not possible to identify the number of government officials and clergymen involved in the casualties because the focus of rescue operation was on saving lives.

Gov. Udom Emmanuel had declared a two-day mourning in a broadcast to the people on Sunday following the unfortunate incident.

The two-day mourning began Sunday and would end Monday with flags flown at half-staff in all government establishments across the state.

Emmanuel also declared a solemn assembly on Tuesday afternoon at the end of the mourning at Government House to pray for the victims of the incident.

Emmanuel on Saturday narrowly escaped unhurt as the church collapsed while he was there.

The governor was the special guest of honour at the bishopric consecration service of the founder of the Reigners Bible church, Apostle Akan Weeks.

A visit to the church on Sunday showed that people were still thronging the scene of the collapsed church to catch a glimpse of what happened on Saturday though the premises were locked.

Security operatives were also seen in large number at the premises to prevent possible riot from the aggrieved persons, who lost their dear ones.

 

About Charles Igbinidu

Charles Igbinidu is a Public Relations practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria

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