At least 13 people were killed and 16 injured when a church in eastern South Africa partially collapsed during a pre-Easter service, local news agency ANA reported on Friday.
Six of those injured were seriously hurt in the incident at a Pentecostal church in Dlangubo, in the coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal.
Worshippers had gathered for a religious service organised as a precursor to Easter Sunday.
— Arrive Alive (@_ArriveAlive) April 19, 2019
South African police said that one of the church’s walls caved in on itself.
According to local reports, there had been a storm with heavy winds in the area that is believed to have contributed to the church’s collapse.
There were also reports that there were people sleeping inside the church when the brick wall came down.
“We received a call on Thursday night that part of a church wall had collapsed on congregants due to heavy rain and wind,” Nomusa Dube-Ncube, a provincial minister, told local broadcaster Enca.
Provincial Disaster Management Centre officials were expected to accompany Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube to the site to plan possible support for the bereaved families.
#Churchcollapse Investigations are underway at Pentecostal Holiness Church in eMpangeni, KZN. It’s been a bad start to the Easter weekend with 13 people dying when a section of a wall collapsed on them. #eNCA pic.twitter.com/lQpPKXdsNz
— Siphamandla Goge (@SiphamandlaGoge) April 19, 2019