SA welcomes back Nigeria building collapse survivors

By Drum Digital
22 September 2014

The return of the survivors of the fatal collapse of the Synagogue Church of All Nations in Nigeria, kept the public in anticipation as the military plane was delayed for four hours on Monday.

By AYANDA SITOLE

Minister Jeff Radebe, spokesperson of the inter-ministerial task team set up by President Jacob Zuma to co-ordinate the SA government’s response to the tragedy announced that the delay was caused by a shortage of ambulances in Lagos.

The C130 SA Air Force plane carrying the passengers which had been converted into an ambulance was led by a highly experienced team of medical officers from the army.

On its landing, the SA military, Tshwane metro police and EMS emergency services worked as a collaborative force to ensure the safe arrival of the survivors and speedy transportation to the Steve Biko Hospital in Pretoria where survivors were set to be reunited with their families.

Radebe revealed that the total number of fatalities in the accident was 115 people 86 of whom were South African. Some of the remaining 26 survivors obtained severe injuries, three of whom had to have their limbs amputated, one of whom developed gangrene another with kidney failure and is currently on dialyses.

Most tragic was the return of three children who were among the injured, including an 18-month-old baby and a two-year-old toddler who were left orphaned after both their parents died in the tragedy.

“The department of social development will assist the children moving within the realms of the laws and policies available to them to this process,” said Radebe.

Radebe also revealed government plans to repatriate South African’s who died in Nigeria following DNA examination.

The Nigerian government is said to be conducting their own investigation as to what was the original cause of the collapse.

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