Over 20 persons were critically injured in Bayelsa State on Monday as a church building collapsed.
The church, a new generation church, identified as National Apostolic Church of Nigeria, collapsed as a result of heavy rainstorm in Agudama Epie community of Yenagoa Local Government Area of the state.
The rainstorm also blown off roofs of some buildings in the state capital and destroyed a street light along the Sani Abacha Expressway, which resulted in a gridlock in the area.
It was learnt that the collapse caused pandemonium in the state capital.
Most of the trapped victims were said to be semi-skilled workers, who had rushed to the uncompleted church for cover when the rainstorm started.
It was further learnt that as the victims were taking refuge at the place, they suddenly heard a loud sound but they could not run from the collapse building due to the thunderous storm.
An eyewitness, who gave his name as Preye, said, “They thought the sound of the collapse was that of a thunder. But before they knew what was happening, they were already covered by the rubble.”
The uncompleted church building was said to be built with poor and substandard architectural materials as the pillar of the church was said to be mounted with wooden panels and bricks.
It was learnt that by the time the Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral John Jonah (retd.), and the state Commissioner of Police, Hillary Okpara, led a team of state commissioners and Julius Berger rescue team to the scene, sympathisers had already rescued those trapped in the building.
Commissioner for Works, Lawrence Erhwudjafor, said the state government would invite the founder of the church over the incident.