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Nigeria Uyo: ‘Scores dead’ in church collapse

A church roof has collapsed in Uyo, southern Nigeria, killing at least 60 people attending the ordination of a bishop, reports say.

Hundreds of people were inside the Reigners Bible Church including the governor of Akwa Ibom state, Udom Emmanuel, when the roof collapsed, Nigerian media report.

Mr Emmanuel was said to be unhurt.

The church was still under construction and workers had rushed to complete it for the ordination, witnesses said.

Pictures from the scene show collapsed metal girders and corrugated iron sheeting.

President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed “deep sorrow” over the incident.

Inquiry launched

A rescue official quoted by AP news agency said 60 bodies had been recovered but the toll could mount as a crane removes the debris.

An unnamed survivor quoted by Nigeria’s Channels TV said: “Normal church service was going on. It was about 20 minutes after the governor arrived. Suddenly, the roof fell on worshippers. The governor was quickly rescued. But others were not that lucky.”

Mr Emmanuel’s spokesman, Ekerete Udoh, said the state government would launch an inquiry into the incident.

Building collapses are relatively common in Nigeria, mainly due to the use of sub-standard materials and the violation of building regulations.

In 2014, scores of people were killed when a church hostel belonging to a Nigerian TV evangelist collapsed in the city of Lagos.

 

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Source: BBC

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