More than 100 killed in church collapse in Nigeria -journalist, resident

At least 100 people were killed by the collapse of a church in southeastern Nigeria, a resident and photojournalist who visited a morgue said on December 11, but officials put the death toll at just 27.

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"At Uyo teaching hospital where I am now I could see over a hundred corpses, many are heaped on top off each other on the floor," said photojournalist Ini Samuel. "Eye witnesses also said on December 11 corpses were packed in four each bag."

Gary Ubong, a resident, said the church's roof had collapsed on worshippers while a pastor was being consecrated as bishop in the presence of government officials.

"I saw more than 100 dead bodies brought out on loaders," said Ubong, who said he had rushed to the scene after the accident. "I also went to two hospitals and saw heaps of dead bodies difficult to count."

State police spokeswoman Cordelia Nwawe said 27 had been killed and 30 injured when the Reigners Bible church in Akwa Ibom state capital Uyo collapsed during a service on December 10.

Etete Peters, Chief Medical Director of the University of Uyo teaching hospital, said 21 bodies had been delivered to his clinic and two of the injured admitted for treatment had died.

"Victims are in private hospitals and mortuaries scattered all over Uyo metropolis. We can't really tell how many people have died so far," he said. "We do not have space as people are still being brought in."

Reuters

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