The roof of a church collapsed during a packed service in Nigeria on Saturday, December 10; instantly killing a lot of worshipers and injuring many others.
At least 60 bodies have been retrieved, but according to the state-run Nigerian News Agency the death toll could be as high as 200 as cranes remove debris.
Sunday Express said the Reigners Bible Church in southern city of Uyo in Akwa Ibom state was still under construction and workers were reportedly rushing to finish it in time for Saturday’s service and the consecration of a pastor, Apostle Akan Weeks, into a bishop.
According to witnesses, the church was packed with hundreds of worshipers to witness the consecration ceremony. The governor of Akwa Ibom, Udom Emmanuel, was in attendance when the metal girders crashed and the corrugated iron roof caved in.
The governor escaped unhurt, but three of his companions were seriously injured. Pastor Weeks also managed to escape; dodging death.
The governor’s spokesman said an inquiry is underway to investigate if building standards were compromised. Buildings collapse regularly in Nigeria because of endemic corruption with contractors using sub-standard materials and bribing inspectors to ignore shoddy work or a lack of building permits, as per Sky News.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari expressed the deep sorrow of his family, the government and the entire people of Nigeria over the tragic incident. He extended his condolences to the families of the victims.