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160 killed after church roof collapsed onto worshippers

The church was still under construction when metal girders crashed and the corrugated iron roof caved in.

People stand at the scene after the roof of The Reigners Bible Church International collapsed onto worshippers
People stand at the scene after the roof of The Reigners Bible Church International collapsed onto worshippers
Image: AP

A HOSPITAL DIRECTOR says 160 people were killed when a church roof, which was still under construction, collapsed onto worshippers in southern Nigeria.

Etete Peters of the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital said mortuaries are overflowing and the final death toll likely will be much higher.

Youth leader Edikan Peters said many other victims are in private mortuaries scattered all over the city of Uyo.

Congregants said the Reigners Bible Church was still under construction when it was crowded with worshippers to ordain a bishop. Metal girders crashed and the corrugated iron roof caved in.

The state government said it will investigate to see if building standards were compromised.

Nigeria-Collapsed Church Source: AP

President Muhammadu Buhari expressed his condolences, telling “the Governor and the People of Akwa Ibom State, the deep sorrow of his family, the government and the entire people of Nigeria over the many deaths and injury recorded following the incident,” presidential spokesman Garba Shehu said in a statement.

The governor of Akwa Ibom state, who was at the church but was not injured during the accident, said on his Facebook page that “we have never had such a shocking incident in the history of our dear state.”

In 2014, 116 people died when a multi-story building of the Synagogue Church of All Nations collapsed in Lagos. A coroner blamed structural faults.

Additional reporting by AFP.

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