Injured collapse survivor returns to church as SA plane leaves

By admin
22 September 2014

One of the South Africans injured in the Nigeria building collapse decided to return to church instead of getting on the plane bringing survivors back home.

This means that 25 injured persons landed in Pretoria instead of 26, said Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe.

The death toll from the church collapse has now climbed to 115 people, with 84 of them South Africans, Radebe said on Monday, citing sources in Lagos.

"We understand from our assessment team that the total number of people who have perished is now 115, but those are not all South Africans. South Africans (are) about 84 that have died," Radebe.

The 26 survived after being trapped under rubble when a guesthouse attached to the church run by prominent Nigerian preacher TB Joshua collapsed more than a week ago.

A 19-member medical team including specialised doctors, nurses and medical military paramedics took care of the injured on board a military C-130 aircraft.

"It's the biggest evacuation effort by the (South African) Air Force since the dawn of democracy," two decades ago, said Radebe.

Two orphaned toddlers - that lost their parents in the tragedy - were among the survivors that returned on Monday.