Update: Death toll in church building collapse hits 20
The death toll in the collapse of a three-storey church building in Akim Batabi in the Eastern region has risen from nine to twenty.
A Police and NADMO rescue team has retrieved the 20 bodies from the debris in an ongoing operation expected to last the entire day.
The bodies include a 60-year-old woman, Afia Tameklo, who was said to have been clubbed to death by a falling pillar as she tried to escape.
The uncompleted three-storey building housing the Church of Promise has been there for some 25 years. It collapsed on Tuesday afternoon while church service was in session, strapping some 65 worshippers.
Four people, as of 4:30 pm yesterday were rescued, Daily Graphic’s Eastern Regional correspondent, Kyei-Boateng reported.
According to him, the voices of those trapped inside could be heard with some screaming for help.
Around 9:40 pm Tuesday night, a rescue team a host of security and rescue officials including the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), the police, soldiers from jungle warfare, fire personnel had besieged the scene.
They have retrieved fifteen bodies from the wreckage, Joy News reported.
But the exact number of persons still trapped under the debris is not known.
Eastern Regional Minister, Eric Kwakye Darfuor visited the scene alongside the Chief Executives of Oda Municipal and Asene-Manso-Akroso District Assemblies.
The bodies have been deposited at the Oda Government Hospital mortuary.
When the Police visited victims at the same hospital, 30-year-old Clement Bentouah was the only victim on admission with a fractured right thigh.
Meanwhile, nurses on duty have identified six other victims – Adu Godfred, 21; Erasmus Larnor, 25; Elizabeth Toot, 18; Bridget Binorey, 59; Jonas Larnor, 45, and Charity Addison, 38 – who have been treated and discharged.