The number of people killed in the collapse of a guest house under construction at the Lagos headquarters of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, Ikotun Egbe, rose to 41 yesterday, rescuers said, as they worked to clear the wreckage.
The five-storey building, in the Ikotun neighbourhood of Lagos, collapsed on Friday, and Farinloye said some 130 people had been pulled out alive with varying degrees of injury.
Local media showed a mound of flattened concrete and twisted steel wires at the compound belonging to the Synagogue Church of All Nations, which is headed by “Prophet” T.B. Joshua, who has followers across Africa and around the world.
“We have 41 dead now,” Ibrahim Farinloye, spokesman in Lagos for Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), said.
On Friday, after the collapse, members of the church had at first prevented emergency officials from participating in the rescue, making it difficult to establish a toll for the dead and injured. But state rescuers were allowed in on Saturday.
Lagos state governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, yesterday visited the site yesterday expressing sadness at the loss of life even as he described the incident as very unfortunate.
While commiserating with the General Overseer of the Church, Prophet Temitope Joshua, who came to meet him at the site of the collapsed structure, Governor Fashola, however, directed that the staff of the Church should give way for the rescue workers to be able to carry out the job of evacuating the debris and rescuing possible victims still trapped under the collapsed building.