Easter Tragedy – 13 Killed As Church Building Collapses On Worshipers

...When a church building in Delta collapsed

Thirteen people have died while 16 others sustained injuries when the walls of their church collapsed on them around 1115 pm during a Passover service.

The collapse caused by violent storm which accompanied the rains.

The Eagle gathered that the incident happened late Thursday near the eastern South African city of Durban, South Africa.

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There were hundreds of worshippers who had gathered for the long weekend of Easter services

 in a converted hangar, in the town of Ndlangubo, north of Durban, in KwaZulu-Natal province, when the incident happened.

“Such a tragedy. 13 fatalities 16 people treated by paramedics,” tweeted Robert McKenzie, spokesman for Kwa-Zulu Natal province’s emergency services.

“The congregants were sleeping in the building after the church service ended just after 10pm,” said provincial police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele.

“There was heavy wind and rain and the walls collapsed. The 13 confirmed dead are 12 women and one boy. An inquest docket has been opened and police are still at the scene,” added Mbele.

Dozens of local people, dazed by the tragedy, spent hours pacing the ruined interior of the building.

“There was no (mobile phone) network so I just ran to the police station and called the police, they responded very quickly and they helped us,” Pastor P.Y. Sibiya told AFP.

Zwelihle Dhlamini, who lost a colleague in the tragedy, said: .

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“Right now, I cannot believe what has happened. I still have not recovered from the shock and so are our colleagues. They are still calling me, they are still sending messages as if something is going to change.”

Mildred Oliphant, provincial minister of labour and a member of the church, said it was difficult to come to terms with the disaster, “but we know God has his own reasons.

“I was going to attend the church today. Probably by the end of next week, we will know exactly whether the structure was properly built or what were the challenges about the structure before we say anything.”

Police have meanwhile launched an investigation while other congregations joined authorities in passing on condolences.

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