International desk – More than 60 people were killed after a roof of a church collapse in south-eastern Nigeria, media reports said on Sunday.
Hundreds of people were inside the Reigners Bible Church including Akwa Ibom state governor Udom Emmanuel, who survived the disaster.
Some reports put the number much higher, with many people believed to be still trapped under the debris in the church in Uyo.
The church was still under construction and workers had rushed to complete it for the ordination, witnesses said.
Emmanuel said there would be an investigation into whether safety standards had been compromised.
Pictures from the scene show collapsed metal girders and corrugated iron sheeting.
President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed “deep sorrow” over the incident.
A rescue official said 60 bodies had been recovered but the toll could mount as a crane removes the debris.
An unnamed survivor quoted by Nigeria’s Channels TV said: “Normal church service was going on.
“It was about 20 minutes after the governor arrived. Suddenly, the roof fell on worshippers. The governor was quickly rescued. But others were not that lucky.”
Building collapses are relatively common in Nigeria, mainly due to the use of sub-standard materials and the violation of building regulations.
In 2014, scores of people were killed when a church hostel belonging to a Nigerian TV evangelist collapsed in the city of Lagos.