Nigeria church collapse has claimed 160 lives when metal girders fell and the corrugated iron roof caved in.Survivors are blaming shoddy construction for the collapse of the church.
Hundreds of people had been inside the Reigners Bible Church International in the city of Uyo on Saturday for the consecration ceremony of founder Akan Weeks as its bishop.
Officials feared the death toll could rise. The governor who was among the survivors Mr. Udom Emmanuel, ordered the apprehension of the church’s contractor. The state government opened an investigation into the incident and swore to punish anyone “found to have compromised professional standards in the construction of the building,”
Ofeibea said the church was still under construction when it collapsed and that it was built in a rush so as to be used for the consecration ceremony.
The governor’s spokesman, Ekerete Udoh, said the state government will investigate if any building standards were compromised.
Construction safety standards are infamously sloppy in Nigeria, she said, adding: “Some contractors use below-par supplies, paying-off inspectors to guarantee they don’t insist on building permits and overlook sub-standard work.”
Morgues in the city of Uyo were overwhelmed with bodies after the collapse. Many of the dead were taken to private mortuaries dotted across the city, said youth leader Edikan Peters. Some people were taking the bodies of relations to their homes because of the congestion.
Peters said he counted 90 bodies removed from the church before he was ordered to stop his tally Saturday night. Journalists also said that church officials wanted to stop them from documenting the calamity, trying to confiscate cameras and forcing some to leave the area.
In 2014, 116 people lost their lives when a multistory guesthouse of the Synagogue Church of All Nations collapsed in Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city. Most victims were visiting South African members of the mega church’s influential founder T.B. Joshua.
Two structural engineers, Joshua and church trustees were accused of criminal negligence and involuntary manslaughter after a coroner found the building collapsed from structural failures caused by design and detailing errors. Efforts to bring them to court have been thwarted by recurring legal challenges.