But for the late arrival for a programme, Akwa Ibom State Governor Emmanuel Udom escaped possible death by the whiskers, Saturday.
It was gathered that the Governor was billed for a church programme in Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State capital but before he arrived the church building had collapsed.
According to a witness, The Reigners Bible Church, located along Uyo Village Road, was filled to capacity because its pastor was being consecrated as a Bishop, when the tragedy occurred.
The witness said the church was being renovated and upgraded because of the expected high number of guests on Saturday.
“Governor Udom Emmanuel was expected to attend the occasion, but, he was not at the church when it collapsed”, said the witness.
“Many people are buried under the debris as emergency workers continue rescue exercise,” he said.
“The Governor has gone to the scene and is presently there helping with the rescue,” a witness said.
Sources said many victims have been taken to various hospitals and mortuaries in the town.
Some senior government officials are suspected to be among the dead.
At the time of filing this report number of casualties remain unknown.