Lagos collapse: Govt defends pace of investigation

Seventeen South Africans are still unaccounted for following Friday's collapse.

Rescue workers clear away mattresses used by occupants of the collapsed guesthouse of the Synagogue Church of All Nations at Ikotun in Lagos on 17 September, 2014. Picture: AFP.

LAGOS - The Lagos state government has defended the pace of its investigation into the deadly collapse of a church building belonging to Nigerian TV evangelist TB Joshua.

At least 67 South Africans were killed when the residential building collapsed on Friday.

The collapse occurred when three extra storeys were being added to the existing two of a guest house of the church compound, where visitors from abroad flock to stay.

The National Emergency Management Agency in Nigeria says the death toll stands at 80, while 131 survivors have been pulled from the rubble.

At least 10 more bodies have not yet been identified.

Families desperately seeking news on their loved ones have complained about a lack of information as the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) has been cordoned off.

They also say they've been denied access to hospitals as well as the state mortuary.

The South African government has also been struggling to get information.

Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Olutoyin Ayinde has appealed to the public to be patient as the investigation continues to unravel what might have led to the collapse.

"It's unfair to say that investigations shouldn't take that long."

The SCOAN is yet to make public the names of the victims of the collapse.

The High Commissioner to Nigeria says 17 South Africans are still unaccounted for and families are being refused entry to mortuaries and health care centres.

South Africa's High Commissioner in Nigeria Lulu Mnguni says 17 South Africans are still unaccounted for following Friday's building collapse at the Synagogue Church of all Nations in Lagos.

Mnguni says there are 265 South African survivors with 29 still in hospital, including a three-year-old child.

Video: 67 South Africans killed in building collapse.


The Gift of the Givers has described how a group tasked by a South African family with searching for their missing relative in Nigeria, were chased out of a hospital, barred from speaking to a patient and even questioned about terrorism.

The group's founder, Imtiaz Sooliman, says he knows of other families who have also been sent away from hospitals by Nigerian officials without any answers.