International Relations Dept sets up Operations room to assist families of Lagos tragedy

SEPTEMBER 17, 2014

Government has advised relatives of family members involved in the Lagos tragedy to contact the Department of International Relations and Cooperation for assistance.

A total of 67 South Africans have been killed and scores others were injured after a multi-story guesthouse at the Synagogue Church of All Nations collapsed on Friday, 12 September, in Lagos, in Nigeria.

The department has set up an Operations Room in Pretoria which provides consular services and advice to families 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The public can contact the department on the following contact numbers: 012 351 0924 / 012 351 1757/ 012 351 1262 or 012 351 1623.

South Africans can also contact the department by making use of the Registration of South Africans Abroad (ROSA) website and email facility http://www.dfa.gov.za, or [email protected] or call 012 351 0682.

This comes as rescue workers in Nigeria are still trying to free people from the rubble of the collapsed building where it appears more lives could be saved.

It is unclear how many people are still trapped in the rubble of the building, but bodies are still being pulled from the ruins.

According to the department, the verification of the deceased is a difficult process and the death toll is likely to rise.

President Jacob Zuma has described the incident as a heart-breaking tragedy - as this was the first time in history of South Africa that this many nationals died in one incident outside the country.

“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 on Tuesday. - SAnews.gov.za