The South Africans were in Nigeria to seek spiritual help and were staying at the guesthouse before it collapsed. But earlier in the day, officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) put the number of deaths at 57 following the recovery of about eight more bodies overnight at the site of the collapsed building.
Two more bodies were also found Tuesday morning as rescue workers intensified operations at the accident scene, bringing the death toll to 57 dead and 131 survivors. The survivors, The Guardian gathered, include a woman about 45 years old, who rescue workers said walked out of the rubble unaided around 2a.m.
A NEMA official said the woman, whose name was not given, came out of the restaurant and only sustained injury on her waist. According to recue workers, the woman, who had been trapped under the rubble since the accident on Friday, was “hale and hearty.”
“She was traumatised, so we didn’t want her to talk. But she sustained little injuries on her ankle and wrist,” the official added.
Three police sniffer dogs were on Monday deployed to the accident scene to assist in the search and rescue of trapped bodies.
The dogs, NEMA said, have been helpful and rescue efforts could be over “latest by Tuesday night.”
It was alleged that the collapsed building situated inside the church’s premises as a five-storey structure, which initially a two-storey but the church added three additional floors to it.