Only 26 died in church collapse, says Akwa Ibom government
Akwa Ibom State has said that contrary to higher casualties being reported, only 26 persons lost their lives during the Reigners Bible Church collapse tragedy.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Dominic Ukpong, made this clarification yesterday at a press conference in Uyo.
According to the commissioner, when the incident happened, 168 persons were taken to 10 different hospitals across the state. Out of this number, 30 people were treated and discharged.
Immediately after the incident on December 10, different figures have been reported regarding the number of persons that died. While the police said 29, Governor Udom Emmanuel said 23.
The commissioner explained that many persons who were rescued while being unconscious were mistaken as dead.
Ukpong also said that the government had no plan to conduct mass burial of those that died. He assured relatives that the bodies would be released after the conclusion of proceedings by the panel of enquiry on the incident.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, has advised the state government to seek technical assistance from the Nigeria Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI) as it investigates the incident.
Onu, said: “NBRRI has the mandate to investigate causes of such failures, prepare technical reports and provide the necessary expertise to help curb similar occurrences.”
Also, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun has condoled with Governor Emmanuel, noting that despite the tragic loss of lives, there was still the need for thanksgiving.
Odigie-Oyegun said the situation could have been worse as many lives, including that of the governor, were still rescued from the wreckage of the worship centre.
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