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Five persons were killed and over 100 others including children and a priest injured when a church collapsed in Nnewi, Anambra State yesterday [Nov. 4]. The incident occurred during the Sunday service.
The elderly wore sullen faces and the youth shouted on top of their voices amid pandemonium at the Ezinifite community, Nnewi South local government, after the incident. The St. Thomas the Aguiros Catholic Church that gave way was under construction.
Over 2000 worshipers were attending mass when the incident occurred. One of the dead, according to church sources was Mrs Okoye the woman leader of Ezinifite Improvement Union (Women President General).
Mrs Okoye, until her death was the step mother of the main financier of the church building project— Chief Leonard Ike Okoye — an Aba-based business mogul.
But the Financial Secretary of the Ezinifite Improvement Union, Mr John Nwosu, a retired journalist, gave the death toll as three. He said many people were seriously injured.
The Parish Priest, Rev Fr Cornelius Ezeoliaku, is in a hospital in Nnewi.
Nwosu said the Church was at decking level, adding that the skeleton for roofing was already on before the collapse. He described the incident as a setback and a bad omen for the church and the community. He could not give further details.
The President General of the Community Mr Ike Ifediniru, could not be reached. The community has no traditional ruler for now.
A group of the Army and Police was busy assisting victims.