Nigeria collapse toll could change - SA envoy

2014-09-17 08:53
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Johannesburg - The death toll in a building collapse in Nigeria is still uncertain, South Africa's high commissioner to Nigeria said on Wednesday.

"The numbers can still either go up or down," Lulu Mnguni told eNCA from Nigeria.

He said there was a lack of access to information on the ground.

"We have put more people on the ground to assist us," said Mnguni.

"At the moment about 20 people are hospitalised and then we have 248 who survived the collapse."

South Africa was sending a team of experts from different departments to Nigeria to assist, he said.

The number of South Africans killed is based on information received from victims' families and friends, presidency spokesperson Mac Maharaj said on Wednesday.

"It has been difficult in getting the news and information. Our figures are based on information received from family and friends, and the high commission in Nigeria. It is subject to change as things go on," he said.

"There have been delays in getting the information. We don't have the figures of those injured. Sometime during the day we will be better placed on the information and the public will be informed."

President Jacob Zuma announced on Tuesday evening that 67 South Africans were killed and "scores of others" injured after faith healer TB Joshua's Synagogue Church of All Nations collapsed on Friday in Lagos.

100 people rescued

On Wednesday morning, international relations spokesperson Clayson Monyela said no more information was available yet.

The Star reported that about 300 South Africans from five different church tour groups had been lodging in the structure that collapsed.

Agencies reported that over 100 injured people had been rescued.

Meanwhile, religious people from various parts of the world have been posting prayers on a Facebook page called Friends of the prophet: TB Joshua, the Synagogue of all Nations.

Wednesday's message by Sol Senge posted on the group said: "Sad news what happened in Nigeria, may the grace of our Lord be with the family of those who lost loved ones."

On Saturday, Samu Samu posted pictures of the collapse and said: "The man of God Prophet TB Joshua's guesthouse has collapsed... leaving many people dead and injured. Let's pray for God's guidance upon the Prophet of God... type AMEN."

Read more on:    tb joshua  |  jacob zuma  |  nigeria  |  west africa  |  nigeria building collapse

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