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‘At least 200 worshippers dead’ after church roof collapses in Uyo, Nigeria

A church roof has collapsed in Uyo, south-east Nigeria, killing at least 200 people attending a bishop’s ordination.

A church roof has collapsed in Uyo, south-east Nigeria, killing at least 60 people attending a bishop's ordination
A church roof has collapsed in Uyo, south-east Nigeria, killing at least 60 people attending a bishop’s ordination

Some reports put the number much higher, with many people believed to be still trapped under the debris.

Hundreds of people were inside the Reigners Bible Church including Akwa Ibom state governor Udom Emmanuel, who survived the disaster.

The church was still under construction and workers had rushed to complete it for the ordination, witnesses said.

Mr Emmanuel said there would be an investigation into whether safety standards had been compromised.

Pictures from the scene show collapsed metal girders and corrugated iron sheeting.

President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed “deep sorrow” over the incident.

A rescue official quoted by AP news agency said 60 bodies had been recovered but the toll could mount as a crane removes the debris.

An unnamed survivor quoted by Nigeria’s Channels TV said: “Normal church service was going on.

“It was about 20 minutes after the governor arrived. Suddenly, the roof fell on worshippers. The governor was quickly rescued. But others were not that lucky.”

Building collapses are relatively common in Nigeria, mainly due to the use of sub-standard materials and the violation of building regulations.

In 2014, scores of people were killed when a church hostel belonging to a Nigerian TV evangelist collapsed in the city of Lagos. BBC News

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