More than 160 people were killed while attending a church service Saturday, and this community needs our prayers.
The tragedy happened at the Reigners Bible Church in Uyo, Nigeria. Hundreds of worshippers filled the building, which was currently under construction. Heavy metal girders collapsed during the service and the corrugated iron roof caved in, according to The Associated Press.
Witnesses say screams could be heard from under the collapsed building.
“There were trapped bodies, parts of bodies, blood all over the place, and people’s handbags and shoes scattered,” said computer analyst Ukeme Eyibio.
He and three others pulled 10 injured people from an overflow area that was outside the collapsed church. They said they didn’t enter the main church area because a construction worker warned that it was not safe, The AP reported.
Youth leader Edikan Peters said he counted 90 dead bodies that were removed from the church before he was told to stop counting. Journalists also said church officials attempted to keep them from reporting about the collapse.
Many of those killed were taken to private mortuaries in the city, Peters said. Because of overcrowding in local mortuaries, some bodies were taken to the homes of relatives.
The final death toll will more than likely be “much” higher than 160, University of Uyo Teaching Hospital director Etate Peters told The AP.
The AP reported that congregants said workers had rushed to finish the church in time for Saturday’s ceremony.
Ekerete Udoh, spokesman for the governor, said the state government would investigate whether any building standards were compromised.
The Nigerian Medical Association appealed to Nigerians to donate blood for the victims.
Nigerian Christians have been subjected to persecution by its Muslim government so the deaths in a house of worship carry particular poignancy.
Words cannot express how sad this situation truly is, and we urge you to pray for all of those involved.
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H/T Fox News