Udom escapes death, as church building collapses in Uyo
Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel and some members of the state executive council, narrowly escaped death when a church building where the governor was worshipping collapsed.
However, most worshipers were not that lucky, as unconfirmed reports claimed that more than fifty persons died when the building collapsed over them.
Emmanuel was among many who were attending the ordination of the founder of Reigners Bible Church, Bishop Akan Weeks. Police is yet to confirm the number of those who died.
But, as rescue operations was going on, sympathizers besieged the area, while church members who escaped from the incident, were seen hanging out to see whether their loved ones are trapped in the caved-in building.
As at the time of filing this report, eyewitnesses told The Guardian that more than 50 have been pulled out from the rubble with many still trapped.
It was gathered that the injured, including the information commissioner Mr. Charles Udoh and the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor Mr. Ekerette Udoh were among those receiving treatment in various hospitals in Uyo.
Some rescue team members said that over 60 casualties had been removed from the debris.The church, which is still under construction, is located in a hillside near the Government House, popularly known as Ravine.
The cause of the collapsed building was not immediately known, but some members who were visibly angry alleged that the contractor used inferior materials for the construction work.
Security agencies have blocked access routes to the area, to forestall a breakdown of law and order, with only pedestrians allowed to use the only access road to the church.Government ambulances, medical personnel and the Red Cross have also been mobilised to the church, to give first aid to the injured.
While the rescue operations led by the Commissioner for Works, Mr Ephraim Inyang-Eyen was going on, it was observed that, dead bodies were being taken out of the rubles.
The Commissioner, when approached said, he could not talk to journalists until the rescue operation was completed.The State Police Public Relations Officer, Cordelia Nwawe said the police cannot confirm the actual casualties, as the main concern now is to secure the environment against hoodlums.
According to her, most of the persons taken to hospital are responding to treatment, adding that as events unfold, the press would be kept abreast.