Reports are coming out that the building at SCOAN Lagos reserved for foreign visitors, collapsed this afternoon. Many are said to be dead (source), and people are reportedly trapped. We pray the emergency services will be able to work quickly and efficiently and be able to save as many lives as possible.
Update 1 2014-09-12 – Current reports state that it was the building hosting the church’s foreign members, and that 15 dead bodies have been recovered so far (source).
Update 2 2014-09-12 – It has been reported that SCOAN are not cooperating with the rescue operation, or allowing journalists to report on the incident: “Synagogue Church security staff behaved in an aggressive way, attacked reporters of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and broke their camera Work of the officials of the Nigerian National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has been also disrupted. One of the possible reasons is that the administration of the Church might have tried to cover up the real cause of the collapse.” (source)
Update of Synagogue collapse: SCOAN officials with some ‘uniformed police’ are denying photojournalists to take picture @ALIBABAGCFR
— Omooba ‘Dare Oloyede (@omoobaexclusive) September 12, 2014
See ehn, I’m gonna be honest with myself, I’ve lost count of all these ambulances. Private vehicles are helping out now.
— Invisiboo (@_OOF_) September 12, 2014
Update 3 2014-09-13 – SCOAN confirm the collapse but claim nobody has died. “The media department of the church explained that contrary to media reports, no one is trapped in the rubbles and no one has died. Those who are injured are being cared for” (source). Soon after they release the following statement on Facebook:
Meanwhile, the BBC are reporting that at least 3 are dead, 18 are in hospital and scores are still trapped inside the building.
Update 4 2014-09-13 “The Nation” news website quotes a disciple identified as “Kate” claiming that the building collapse was the result of a bomb. This claim has been denied by State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO),Ngozi Braide who told The Nation last night that “there was no bomb in the Synagogue incident.” (source).
Update 5 2014-09-13 Lagos State Building and Control Agency suspect that the extra floors on the building were being constructed without approval: “We have been here challenging them on the building approval but they haven’t said anything convincing. They claimed to have approval but we could not confirm it. They were told to bring the building approval authorised by the state government but none of them could provide it.” (source)
Update 6 2014-09-13 A TV news report claims that 15 bodies were pulled from the rubble, and the the church is not cooperating with the rescue operation.
Update 7 2014-09-13 More international news coverage of the event, this time in Reuters. Confirms that at least 3 are dead, SCOAN are still not acknowledging any deaths.
Update 8 2014-09-13 Today’s death toll has risen to 17, with hundreds injured, according to News24.