ONITSHA, Nigeria (Reuters) - At least ten people were killed and some 15 wounded when a church collapsed during a service in southern Nigeria on Saturday, a resident and police said.
State news agency NAN said on its website there had been 60 “victims” of the collapse in the southern city of Uyo in Akwa Ibom state without clarifying whether they had been killed or wounded.
“I visited the scene of the incident today and saw people being taken out,” said Monday Akpan, a resident. “More than ten people were killed from my calculation and what I heard others say there.”
Local media put the death toll even higher. The Premium Times said on its website at least 50 people had been killed or seriously injured.
Police and civil service officials said some worshippers had been killed but refused to give a figure as the rescue operation was still ongoing.
The church collapsed during a service when a pastor was to be consecrated as bishop and local officials in attendance escaped unhurt, police spokeswomen Cordelia Nwawe said.
“Ten to 15 people were injured and have been taken to a hospital,” Nwawe said.
Reporting by Anamesere Igboeroteonwu and Ulf Laessing; Editing by Mary Milliken