Nigeria collapse: 67 South Africans dead
Sixty-seven South Africans have died in a building collapse at Synagogue Church of All Nations in Nigeria.
JOHANNESBURG - A total of 67 South Africans have died in a building collapse that occurred at the Synagogue Church of All Nations in Nigeria, President Jacob Zuma said in a statement released this evening.
A double-story church guesthouse caved in while additional floors were being added to the structure on Friday.
It's understood the group of South Africans were on a church tour at the time.
Scores more sustained injuries when the guesthouse belonging to the church collapsed.
Zuma said in the statement he had directed various government departments to ensure that relatives of the deceased were taken to Nigeria to identify their loved one's bodies.
The president thanked the families of the deceased and the Nigerian government for their co-operation with the South African government.
He also extended his condolences to Nigeria and all other nations affected by this tragedy.
"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," Zuma said.
Rescuers say the building was overburdened by additional floors being constructed on top of its existing foundations.
Lagos state government officials are investigating the cause of the collapse.