Akwa Ibom State Governor Udom Emmanuel on Saturday escaped death at the Reigners Bible Church where he attended the Bishopric Enthronement of the church’s founder, Apostle Akan Weeks.
According to a witness, The Reigners Bible Church, located along Uyo Village Road, Akwa Ibom State, was filled to capacity because its pastor was being consecrated as a Bishop, when the tragedy occurred.
The witness said the Church was being renovated and upgraded because of the expected high number of guests on Saturday.
“Many people are buried under the debris as emergency workers continue rescue exercise,” he said.
As at the time of filing in this report, it was confirmed that Governor Udom is hale and hearty. Many attendees have lost their lives while others who sustained various degrees of injuries are being evacuated from the collapsed building and rushed to hospitals.
“The governor has gone to the scene and is presently there helping with the rescue,” a witness said. Sources said many victims have been taken to various hospitals and mortuaries in the town.
The specific number of casualties is unknown by unconfirmed reports say scores have been injured, others have lost their lives while lots of others are still trapped in the building.
Security agents including the military, police, NSCDC have cordoned off the arena as rescue efforts is ongoing. The Red Cross officials are attending to some victims with minor injuries but unfortunately, unconfirmed reports have it that some hospitals (especially at St Luke’s Hospital, Anua and Specialist Hospital, Itam) have refused attending to the victims.
The governor has addressed the press, saying the collapse is caused by the shoddy and hasty work in the construction of the building aimed at putting up a befitting structure for the ordination. The Governor is still there at the scene, trying to make sure that people are safe.
It is said that there was no approval for the building from government, with authorities saying the contractors must be brought to make explanation.
Some senior government officials are suspected to be among the victims. The casualty figure is still unknown.
Governor UdomEmmanuel has promised to investigate the cause of the unforseen situation. Presently he is going round with Rev Uma Ukpai to visit and pray for the quick recovery of injured persons.
The Gov’s CPS had a dislocation around the knee but he is responding very fine, though with pains on his back around the neck area.
Usiere Akpan of Pioneer newspaper and Bassey the SA on Protocol both have gotten their head wounds stitched and are in better conditions.
A police spokesperson who sounded emotional when contacted by phone, said she could not speak on the matter immediately.
“You need to be here to witness it, there is so much confusion,” she simply said.
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