Death toll from the collapsed building in Synagogue Church of All Nations, Ikotun, Lagos, on Sunday rose to 41, while people trapped in the building that had been rescued have also risen to 130 with varying degrees of injury.
Ibrahim Farinloye, the public relations officer of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), confirmed this in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
A six-storey building guest house under construction belonging to the Synagogue Church of All Nations collapsed on Friday.
Farinloye said that 80 percent of people rescued from the collapsed building were women.
He said that two female children, aged four and eight years, were among those rescued from the collapsed building.
According to him, the continued rescue exercise has increased the number of dead persons from 17 to 40.
On Friday after the collapse, members of the church were said to have at first prevented emergency officials from participating in the rescue, making it difficult to establish a toll for the dead and injured. But NEMA were allowed in on Saturday.
“We’re still working at the site,” Farinloye had said, adding he expected the clear-up would extend into today.
There was no immediate explanation for the collapse from the government.
Emergency services officials said the lower three floors of the building located in the large church compound had already been operating as a guest house, and it appeared construction work was underway to add three more floors.
Temitope Joshua, the pastor of the church, attributed the cause of the collapse to a mysterious helicopter flying repeatedly over the building.
Joshua showed a three-minute video clip to journalists in Lagos on September 13, claiming the helicopter might have been responsible for the collapse of the six-storey guest house.