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More Than 100 Killed in Roof Collapse at Nigerian Church

  • VOA News

People stand near the remains of a church that collapsed during a service in the southern city of Uyo in Akwa Ibom state, Nigeria, Dec. 10, 2016.

Rescue workers continue to look for survivors in the debris following the collapse of a church roof in southern Nigeria, killing at least 100 people. Some reports put the death toll as high as 160.

Hundreds of people were in the Reigners Bible Church, which was still under construction when the roof collapsed Saturday in the city of Uyo.

Local officials played down the number of victims. State police spokeswoman Cordelia Nwawe said 27 had been killed and 30 injured.

Several local officials were in attendance when the roof fell, including Udom Emmanuel, the governor of Akwa Ibom state, who escaped without injury.

One survivor told local media from his hospital bed that the roof fell about 30 minutes into the program. "Suddenly, the roof from the middle fell on worshipers. The governor was quickly rescued. But others were not that lucky."

Governor Emmanuel tweeted that he personally supervised rescue operations at the scene and has declared December 11 and 12 as days of mourning.

People stand near the remains of a church that collapsed during a service in the southern city of Uyo in Akwa Ibom state, Nigeria, in this image from video, Dec. 10, 2016.
People stand near the remains of a church that collapsed during a service in the southern city of Uyo in Akwa Ibom state, Nigeria, in this image from video, Dec. 10, 2016.

The church's founder, who was to be made a bishop during the service, was also not injured.

A spokesman for the governor said the state would conduct an investigation into the collapse.

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