At least three people, including two children, died on Tuesday night when a church collapsed on the outskirts of the southeastern Nigerian city of Asaba, while 18 others were rescued alive from the rubble, local police said Wednesday.
The church collapsed on Tuesday night in Okpanam, a suburb of Asaba in Delta State, local police spokesman Bright Edafe said.
He added, “Three people died – two girls and a woman,” he said. “Eleven of those rescued are still being treated in hospital.”
According to local media, the building collapsed during the evening service.
This is not the first time such an incident is happening in Africa’s most populous nation, where millions of people live in dilapidated buildings and building laws are routinely flouted.
The incident comes two months after a building under construction in Lagos collapsed, killing at least 45 people and causing national outrage.
Data collected by Nigerian researcher Olasunkanmi Habeeb Okunola of South Africa’s Witwatersrand University shows that at least 152 buildings have collapsed in Lagos alone since 2005.
In 2014, the collapse of a church (Synagogue Church of All Nations) in the megalopolis, which claimed the lives of more than a hundred people, had particularly moved Nigeria.