Nigeria: Governor Udom orders investigation after Uyo church roof collapse kills 60

Udom Emmanuel ordered an investigation to find out if safety standards were compromised

Picture for representation
Picture for representation Reuters

The under construction roof of the Reigners Bible Church in southern Nigeria's Uyo city collapsed onto worshippers on Saturday, killing at least 60 people and wounding dozens.

Akwa Ibom State governor Udom Emmanuel, who was inside the church when the mishap happened but survived the disaster, ordered an investigation to find out if safety standards were compromised in the construction of the roof.

According to BBC, witnesses said that construction works were going on and workers were asked to finish it fast so that the church was ready for the ordination.

Though a prompt action was taken by the authorities to carry out relief operations, they have informed that the death toll might rise as several people are still trapped under the debris.

Nigeria's Channels TV quoted one witness, giving an account of what happened, saying, "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."

President Muhammadu Buhari expressed his condolences to the victims' families. "The Governor and the People of Akwa Ibom State, the deep sorrow of his family, the government and the entire people of Nigeria over the many deaths and injury recorded following the incident," said presidential spokesman Garba Shehu in a statement, according to Reuters.

Incidents of building collapse are quite common in Nigeria because of the substandard work that goes into the construction. Corruption also plays a prominent role in such disasters. While the contractor often used poor materials, police officers are bribed to turn a blind eye towards low-grade work and absence of building permits, reported The Guardian. At least 115 people were killed after a church, belonging to the famous televangelist TB Joshua, collapsed in Lagos in September 2015.