Toll in Nigeria building collapse hits 70

 The toll in a building collapse at a church complex in Nigeria`s commercial capital Lagos reached 70 Wednesday, a spokesman of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said in the latest development on the incident which occurred last week.

IANS| Updated: Sep 17, 2014, 23:28 PM IST

Abuja: The toll in a building collapse at a church complex in Nigeria`s commercial capital Lagos reached 70 Wednesday, a spokesman of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said in the latest development on the incident which occurred last week.

Ibrahim Farinloye, spokesman of the response agency in Nigeria`s southwest region, told reporters at the site of the tragedy that a total of 70 bodies were pulled out from the rubble of the building during the rescue operation. A total of 171 survivors were also rescued during the operation, he added, according to Xinhua.

The incident occurred at the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) Guest House in Ikotun downtown area of Lagos, which serves as a Mecca of sort to local people and foreigners from different parts of the world.

However, Farinloye could not officially confirm the nationalities of the victims of the incident.

On Tuesday, 67 South Africans were reported to have died in the tragic incident, according to South African President Jacob Zuma who sent condolences to the people of Nigeria and all other nations affected by the tragedy on behalf of the government and the people of South Africa.

Pastor in charge of the church, Temitope Joshua, attributed the cause of the collapse to a mysterious helicopter flying repeatedly over the building.

The pastor showed a three-minute video clip to journalists in Lagos, claiming the helicopter might have been responsible for the collapse of the six-storey guest house.

Many injured worshippers were rushed to Isolo and Alimosho General Hospital, while bodies of the dead were deposited at the mortuary.

Building collapses are not rare in Nigeria, often because of poor construction practices. More than 50 people were killed in building collapses across Nigeria last year.