Nigeria church collapse kills 160 worshipers

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Credit: @MrUdomEmmanuel

LAGOS, Nigeria  — A hospital director says 160 people were killed when a church roof collapsed onto worshippers in southern Nigeria.

Etete Peters of the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital said mortuaries are overflowing and the final death toll likely will be much higher. Youth leader Edikan Peters said many other victims are in private mortuaries scattered all over the city of Uyo.

Congregants said the Reigners Bible Church was still under construction when it was crowded with worshippers to ordain a bishop on Saturday. Metal girders crashed and the corrugated iron roof caved in.

The state government said it will investigate to see if building standards were compromised.

In 2014, 116 people died when a multi-story building of the Synagogue Church of All Nations collapsed in Lagos. A coroner blamed structural faults.

There has been some confusion over the death toll. Local media reports have quoted rescuers who have offered different totals.

“The death toll being given by rescuers could be misleading as people presumed dead from the collapse may have just lost consciousness only to recover at the hospital,” a police spokesperson for Akwa Ibom, Cordelia Nwanwe, told CNN.