By: SAYO AKINTOA
The death toll from the collapse of a church guesthouse in Lagos has now climbed to 115, South African Minister, Jeff Radebe said on Monday, citing sources in Nigeria. He however, urged the heavily-criticised Nigerian government to investigate the “tragedy”.
Minister in the Presidency Radebe said 84 South Africans who were part of visiting church groups had died in the September 12 incident. He was speaking at an air force base north of Johannesburg where 25 South Africans who were injured returned for treatment.
But the Nigerian emergency services said the total death toll was 86.
“we understand from our assessment team that the total number of people who have perished is 115, but those are not all South Africans, said Radebe, the Minister in charge of Pretoria’s response to the disaster” The casualty includes 84 South Africans said Radebe speaking after about two dozen injured survivors were repatriated home.
Ten days after the disaster Nigeria Officials struggled to immediately confirm the dead toll “there could have been additional death on arrival at the hospitals”, suggested rescuers spokesman Ibrahim Farinloye of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), he said it was now up to the church and the various embassies to give the exact final toll.
Minister Radebe revised the numbers of injured that arrived to twenty-five because one refused to board the medical evacuation plane in Lagos and chose to return to the church whose guesthouse collapsed in Lagos on September 12, 2014.
‘’The plan was to bring back all the twenty-six but there were only twenty-five who actually boarded because one return to the synagogue on Sunday’’ said Radebe, adding that the twenty-six survived, after been trapped under rubbles when the Guesthouse attached to a church run by a prominent Nigerian Preacher T.B Joshua collapsed over a week ago.