The Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, narrowly escaped demise on Saturday because the constructing of Reigners’ Bible Church Int’l Inc, alongside Uyo Village Highway, Uyo, the state capital, collapsed throughout service.
The incident left about 200 worshippers useless. Sources mentioned it took the efforts of the governor’s safety officers to whisk him away to security. He was stated to have sustained a minor harm.
We learnt that the governor was within the church attending the ordination of the church’s Presiding Pastor, Bishop Elect Akan Weeks, when the constructing gave approach jiffy earlier than providing interval.
One of many aides, who rescued the governor, was stated to have died at a close-by hospital the place he was rushed to.
A safety officer, who didn’t wish to be named, stated many dignitaries who accompanied the governor to the church additionally died.
Our correspondent gathered that the Secretary to the State Authorities, Mr. Etekamba Umoren, additionally shattered his head within the incident. He was stated to have been taken to an undisclosed hospital within the state.
We learnt that the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Ekerette Udoh, additionally sustained severe harm.
It was gathered that building works on a bit the place the ordination held had been rushed due to Saturday’s occasion. The church has an estimated 10,000-seater capability. Two cranes belonging to development big, Julius Berger, had been used to clear the particles.
A conflict was averted between the police and a few residents because the latter tried to calm frayed nerves.
The state Commissioner for Works, Ephraim Inyang, refused to talk with journalists when he was approached. He ordered them to go away the place.
Mrs. Yenime Ekpo, who’s a mom to one of many victims, Tony Brown, forty six with six youngsters, mentioned they had been worshiping within the church when the constructing collapsed.
She acknowledged that Brown was trapped within the rubble for a lot of hours together with others earlier than she was rescued.
Saying she was uncertain of her son’s survival, Ekpo famous that they weren’t members of the church however solely went to witness the ordination.
Additionally, a pupil of the College of Uyo, Division of Communication Arts, Uduak Effiong, stated she misplaced three of her course mates to the incident.
She acknowledged that when the constructing collapsed, a pillar fell upon a girl and tore her physique.
She mentioned, “I noticed over one hundred lifeless our bodies. These had been those near me. From my estimation, greater than 300 individuals might need died as folks got here from different church buildings in all elements of the state, together with authorities-sponsored praised singers with uniforms to attend the programme. For a few of us that escaped, we solely did by the particular grace of God.”
One other scholar of the College of Uyo, Jennifer Thomas, instructed our correspondent that considered one of her mates, Blessing Linus, was trapped within the particles.
It was learnt that the iron utilized in holding the roofing sheet was twice heavier than the block used for the constructing. Safety operatives cordoned the realm and denied journalists entry.
Some members of the church seized the id card of our correspondent and his pc pill, saying he was a traitor as he tried to take footage.
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Murtala Mani, who mentioned he couldn’t confirm the variety of these useless or these trapped within the constructing, expressed unhappiness over the event.
He mentioned, ‘‘I’m sorry about your complete state of affairs.’’
The Chief Medical Director of the College of Uyo Instructing Hospital, Prof. Etete Peters, stated of the 50 circumstances handled within the therapy, just one particular person died.
He stated about 200 individuals have been dropped at the hospital lifeless, including that the hospital had by no means ready for such an emergency.
He mentioned, “We solely misplaced one individual within the hospital besides those who had been introduced lifeless. In circumstances like this, we now have been overwhelmed. We’d like assist from authorities.
“Many victims are in non-public hospitals and mortuaries scattered throughout Uyo metropolis; we are able to’t actually inform how many individuals have di
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