Killed, Dozens Injured After Church Collapses During Easter Service

Congregants who had gathered to usher in Easter weekend were struck by tragedy as the church building housing them collapsed, killing 13 of the churchgoers and leaving scores injured.

She said: "The congregants were sleeping in the building after the church service ended just after 10pm". Emergency personnel said almost three dozen people were injured, at least six critically.

Local officials have blamed the tragedy on heavy rainfall in the area around eMpangeni on Thursday night. However, early reports suggest that the roof collapsed under persistent heavy rains.

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No less than 13 persons died on Thursday in South Africa, during a church service to observe the Passover night, one of the programmes to commemorate the Easter.

Disaster Management Centre officials and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, are expected to visit the site to assess the situation and provide support for the affected families.

Leader of main South African opposition party the Democratic Alliance Mmusi Maimane, has offered his condolences. "We pray that the Lord Almighty extends His hand to comfort them and soothe their wounds at this hard time", she said. "We are further urging those who will be travelling to further away places for Good Friday service, to be vigilante on the road ensuring a safe return to their respective homes", he said.

  • Sonia Alvarado