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JUST IN: Death toll now three in collapsed Delta church building

By News Desk

No fewer than three worshippers have been confirmed to have died and 11 others battling for survival after a one-storey church building belonging to Salvation Ministries collapsed during a worship session in Okpanam, Oshinili North local government area of Delta state.

Of the three persons that were recovered by the emergency officials including the Nigerian Police, under the rubbles, two were identified as female children and one was a woman.

The three persons, who were pronounced dead by medical experts at the public hospital where they were rushed to for treatment, were said to be among the 18 worshippers brought out under the rubble in the state.

Aside from the three dead, four worshippers earlier admitted at a public hospital in the state have been discharged by medical officials after they were certified okay to return home.

Addressing newsmen after completing the search and rescue operations on Wednesday in Asaba, the state capital, Police spokesperson, DSP Bright Edafe, debunked claims that 10 bodies were recovered under the rubbles by emergency officials in the state.

Edafe noted that the three were in critical state when they were brought out under the rubbles and efforts to save them proved abortive.

According to him, the emergency officials were still at the building to ascertain that no one was still trapped under the rubble of the collapsed building.

As gathered, the church building, which has stayed for over 10 years was initially designed as a plaza before the church occupied the upper chamber of the one storey building, converting it to its children section.

It was learnt that the building caved in from the children section of the church at about 5pm during bible studies and left scores of others trapped under the rubbles.

It was learnt that the church building, which has stayed for over 10 years was initially designed as a plaza before the church occupied the upper chamber of the one storey building.

One of the church members simply identified as Grace Ibe, stated that the service was ongoing when the building collapsed with a thunderous noise.

“We were clapping and praying when suddenly we heard the cracking and the building swallowed the children section with the children,” she said.

She said the church is currently observing its new year 21-day fasting but members of the ill-fated church came to break the fasting with a communion service.

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