Synagogue Building Collapse: NEMA, South Africa Disagree Over Casualty Figure

 The National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA has said it is not aware of the source of the latest casualty figures claim by the South African government. Speaking with the magazine this Tuesday, Ibrahim Farinloye, Lagos state spokesman for NEMA said the agency is not privy to such information credited to Jeff Radebe, South African minister in charge of Pretoria’s response to disaster.

Radebe was quoted as saying that the death toll from the Synagogue Church Guest House building collapse has now increased from 86 to 115, adding that 84 of the dead persons were South Africans. Radebe who refused to declare his source of information said, “We understand from our assessment team that the total number of people who have perished is now 115, but those are not all South Africans.”

When the church was contacted for confirmation or otherwise of the claims by the South African government, Patrick Iwelumo, spokesman for the church told the magazine repeatedly that he needs to consult his media team members before reacting to the claim. Subsequent attempts to get his comment were not successful.

Meanwhile, when the magazine enquired from Standards Organisation of Nigeria, SON, the extent they have gone on their investigation of the building materials they obtained for laboratory test, Bede Obayi, head inspectorate and compliance unit said, the organisation was still working on the laboratory tests and will make public, the outcome of the investigation at the appropriate time.

Recall that a six-story Guest House in the premises of the church collapsed on September 12, killing over 80 people while over 130 were injured. South Africa has the highest casualty figure.

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