CHURCH BUILDING COLLAPSE: Death Toll Rises To 21
The death toll from the Church building collapse in Akyem Batabi in the Eastern Region has risen to 21, out of 29 victims retrieved.
The deceased persons are made up of 12 females and 9 males.
There are eight survivors so far.
More victims are expected to be extricated as rescue workers worked throughout last night to enter day four of the rescue Operation.
Almost all the victims found by the rescue team after 24 hours of the incident are dead, an indication that many victims trapped under the rubbles are giving up the ghost as their rescue delays.
The stench emitting from decomposing bodies still trapped under the rubble is becoming unbearable.
The rescue team are in a dilemma on the exact number of victims trapped as some survivors have given conflicting figures.
Meanwhile, the Founder of Church Of Prosperity, Prophet Isaac Ofori popularly known as Akoa Isaac is assisting the Akyem Oda Divisional Police Command to investigate the incident.
The collapse of the uncompleted three-storey church building occurred Tuesday at about 2:30 pm.
Prophet Akoa Isaac has told Police in his statement after his arrest that he was sick and lying in his residence on the same compound of the Church when he heard the collapsing of the church.
He said he was told that about 56 worshippers were in and around the building fasting and praying when the incident happened.
When Police proceeded to the scene, 35 of the worshippers were seen traumatized at the scene while a 60-year-old woman identified as Afia Tamakloe, lying dead. The rest were trapped under the rubble.
A joint rescue team made up of officials of the National Disaster Management Organization, NADMO, Ghana National Fire Service, Police, Ambulance Service, BNI, National Security, Military with support from the Eastern Regional Minister Eric Kwakye Darfuor who is at the scene retrieved 13 victims few hours after the incident out of which 6 -all females were dead, one (1) in critical condition while 6 victims namely Adu Godfred,21, Erasmus Larner,25, Elizabeth Toot,18, Bridget Birorey,59, Jonas Larner,45, and Charity Addison,38 have been treated and discharged by the Oda Government Hospital.
According to one of the survivors “We were resting in the church building after fasting and prayers so whilst resting, we heard portions of the building coming down. We were over 60 in the building so we started running away some of the people managed to escape but others were trapped “.
The Asene Akroso NADMO Director Gyan Willington told Starr News it has been very tedious removing the rubbles but added the rescue team is making headway as additional excavators have been provided.
Some residents say the construction of the Church building started decades ago hence its structural integrity continued to weaken.