67 South Africans confirmed dead in Lagos building collapse


In a televised statement yesterday evening, President Jacob Zuma confirmed that 67 South Africans had died following the collapse of a multi-storey hostel in Lagos, Nigeria last Friday.

An estimated 133 people are said to have been injured when the building, belonging to preacher and televangelist, TB Joshua’s Synagogue Church of All Nations, caved in at 12:44, which rescuers attribute to the construction of excessive floors. The exact number of total fatalities has not yet been confirmed.

“This is a particularly difficult time for South Africa. Not in the recent history of our country have we had this large number of our people die in one incident outside the country,” Zuma said.

“Our thoughts are with the families, friends and colleagues that have lost their loved ones in this heart-breaking tragedy.

“The whole nation shares the pain of the mothers, fathers, daughters and sons who have lost their loved ones. We are all in grief,” he said.

Speaking to AFP, Nigerian National Emergency Management Agency southwest co-ordinator, Ibrahim Farinloye, confirmed that at the time of the collapse, two extra floors were being built on-top of the existing four storey building.

Joshua has responded to the incident with the release of a 2 minute and 23 second CCTV clip of the collapse on Sunday, citing the act as a form of “terrorism” and blaming a low-flying aircraft as the main reasons, both of which had been rejected by authorities.


CATION: Rescuers search for survivors in the remains of the Synagogue Church of All Nations hostel that collapsed in Lagos, Nigeria last Friday. IMAGE sourced from www.channelnewsasia.com