Nigeria collapse: 25 SA survivors finally home
The South Africans injured in the Lagos building collapsed have landed at the Swartkop Air Force Base.
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PRETORIA - The plane carrying 25 South Africans, including three children, who were injured in the Lagos building collapse more than week ago has arrived at the Swartkop Air Force Base in Pretoria.
After 10 days of waiting and a 10-hour flight, the chartered aircraft has finally touched down.
Patients who were critically injured have been prioritised.
Some were placed on stretchers and loaded into ambulances.
Two young siblings, who lost both their parents in the collapse, were carried out of the aircraft clutching on to two soldiers.
The government sent a plane to Nigeria to bring back the survivors after more than 80 South Africans were killed in the tragedy, where a six-storey guest house at ' Prophet' TB Joshua's Synagogue Church of All Nations in Nigeria's capital collapsed more than a week ago.
Special arrangements have been made for the survivors who will all undergo medical observation at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria.
In addition to patients undergoing observation, they will also undergo a number of tests before being moved or discharged.
It's understood that while the patients' statuses are unknown doctors must still assess them before they're discharged or transferred to a hospital of their choice.
At the same time, anxious relatives of the survivors have started arriving at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital.
State social workers are chatting to the growing number of families, who have taken up seats in front of the hospital's casualty ward.
Many say they're relieved they will finally get to see their loved ones after more than a week of fear and uncertainty about their well-being.
Hospital staff have been placed on high alert, with additional admission staff being deployed to handle the patients as they arrive from the air force base.