26 evacuated, TB Joshua plans SA visit

2014-09-22 06:43

Three South African children were among those who survived the building collapse at the Synagogue Church of All Nations in Nigeria, says government spokesperson Pumla Williams.

“The inter-ministerial task team established to coordinate government’s response to the collapse of a building at the [church] ... would like to announce the evacuation of 26 injured South African citizens from Lagos back home to South Africa. Of the 26 patients, three are children,” said Williams yesterday.

At least 86 people were killed when a guesthouse belonging to the church collapsed on September 12.

Among those killed were 84 South Africans.

Williams said the country’s military health service had sent through a mass casualty aero-medical evacuation team to Lagos.

“Among the medical team members is one orthopaedic surgeon, Colonel Theo Le Roux, an internationally recognised trauma surgeon; four aero-medical officers that have specialised in aviation medicine; six nursing officers specialised in aviation nursing; and eight military paramedics,” said Williams.

The team would evacuate patients and assist the critically wounded as they embarked on a 10-hour flight back to South Africa.

“Extra measures were taken to provide care and comfort to injured children on board,” said Williams.

The plane was expected to land at the Swartkop Air Force Base this morning and ambulances would be waiting to transport the injured to the Steve Biko Hospital in Pretoria.

“All patients will be admitted to the Steve Biko Hospital where they will be assessed prior to being transferred to the hospital of their choice or discharged according to their condition,” said Williams.

Her statement came following the return of the inter-ministerial task team which had been to Nigeria, led by Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe.

Government called for South Africans with relatives who were visiting the church and not yet accounted for to contact them.

Meanwhile, the leader of the SCOAN church, Prophet TB Joshua, yesterday announced that he would be travelling to South Africa to meet with the families of those who died at his church as well as the survivors of the incident, the Agence France-Presse reported.

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