Synagogue: South African Relatives Condemn Inadequate Information As Rescue Ends

SynagogueMany anxious relatives are besieging the OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, hoping to see their loved ones return safely from Lagos after the Synagogue church building collapse last Friday.

However, for some it is a very frustrating wait as they complain that they are not getting any information about what has happened to them.

Channels Television Correspondent in South Africa, who was at the airport in Johannesburg early Thursday morning, spoke to some relatives who complained bitterly.

A team of Rescue Response experts from South Africa have joined the Nigerian Government efforts to manage the crisis.

SA officials say 67 South Africans died in the incident and many still unaccounted for.

Meanwhile, back in Nigeria, rescue operation at the site of the collapsed 6-storey guest house belonging to the Synagogue Church of All Nations has ended on Thursday.

A combined team of the National and the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency told journalists that there was no more trace of dead victims.

They revealed that the second phase of data collation and identification of victims has commenced.

The total final death figures released by the agencies is put at 80 with 131 survivors.

South African President, Jacob Zuma , said at least 67 South Africans died in the Friday’s accident at the Synagogue Church of All Nations in Lagos and has described it as one of the worst tragedies in South Africa’s recent history.

The collapse occurred when three extra storeys were being added to the existing two of a guest house in the church compound.

Led by the charismatic Prophet T.B. Joshua, the pentecostal church attracts a global following of Christians who believe Joshua is able to perform miracles including curing the ill and raising the dead.

Full Text: President Zuma’s Statement On South Africans In Synagogue Collapsed Building

Fellow South Africans,

I am greatly saddened to announce that 67 South Africans died and scores of others sustained injuries, after a building at the Synagogue Church of All Nations collapsed on Friday, 12 September 2014, in Lagos, in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

This is a particularly difficult time for South Africa. Not in the recent history of our country have we had this large number of our people die in one incident outside the country.

Our thoughts are with the families, friends and colleagues that have lost their loved ones in this heart-breaking tragedy. The whole nation shares the pain of the mothers, fathers, daughters and sons who have lost their loved ones. We are all in grief.

As we mourn this sudden and tragic death of our fellow compatriots, I have directed the relevant Government departments and entities to act with the utmost urgency to ensure that we facilitate the movement of relevant family members to Nigeria to identify the bodies of their loved ones and to ensure that we repatriate the remains as soon as possible under the circumstances.

I would like to take this opportunity also to thank all family members and friends who have provided information to Government, which information has assisted the South African High Commission in Nigeria in its efforts to locate our fellow citizens.

I would also like to commend all affected families for their patience and resolve during this very painful period.

On behalf of the Government and the people of South Africa, I would like to thank the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for their support during this difficult time. We also send our sincere condolences to the people of Nigeria and all other nations affected by this tragedy.

I would like to assure all affected families that the Government will provide all the necessary support.

Government will keep the public informed of developments around this tragedy.

May the souls of the departed compatriots rest in peace.

I thank you.

Issued by: the Presidency

Pretoria

Website: www.thepresidency.gov.za

Synagogue Building: Death Toll Rises To 60 As Woman Walks Out Alive

Synagogue building debris.The death toll of the collapsed building in the premises of the Synagogue Church of All Nations in Lagos has risen to 60, as a 45 year old woman was rescued alive from the debris after four days.

Information provided by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) showed that 131 persons have been rescued from the rubble.

The woman, whose nationality has not been revealed, was found alive at about 2:00am with only minor injuries.

Meanwhile, the standard organisation of Nigeria has begun investigation into the materials used for the construction of the building, with iron rods and sand stones collected for laboratory test.

Earlier report had put the death toll at 45.

The building which was under construction before it collapsed on Friday afternoon, was also being used as a guest house for church members and visitors, especially foreigners.

As at the time of the collapse, people were living in the building.

An investigative panel would be set up as soon as the rescue and recovery phase is over, including the GM of LASEMA, the Ministry of Works, the Ministry of Physical Planning, Ministry of Health, and all other stakeholders.