Some 12 persons have been confirmed dead at Akyem-Bataabi in the Asene Manso Akroso District of the Eastern Region.
This follows the collapse of a six-storey building belonging to the Church of Prosperity at Akyem Batabi.
Worshippers were trapped after the building collapsed during a church service on Tuesday afternoon around 2 pm.
The church members numbering about 100, mostly women who were at the premises at the time of the unfortunate incident, could be heard crying for help beneath the wreckage.
Six persons reportedly died on the spot while 15 members who were rescued and sustained injuries were rushed to the Akyem – Oda Government Hospital for treatment.
Later, six others were confirmed dead on Wednesday, October 21, 2020, making the total fatalities 12 after the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) stormed the church premises to rescue the trapped members with an excavator.
The bodies of the deceased have since been deposited at the same facility morgue pending autopsy.
The injured persons were treated and discharged on Wednesday morning.
The owner of the building and Head Pastor of the Church, Prophet Akuwa Isaac who is reportedly not feeling well for the past one month as gathered was not at the premises when the incident happened.
According to sources, he started the construction of the storey building since 1992 and was asked to stop when it got to the 5th stage, due to its weak foundations but he failed to listen and continue to the 6th floor.
It is unclear what led to the collapse of the building, but NADMO Coordinator, Willington Gyan confirmed that ”An engineer told the owner of the church building to stop construction due to the structural defects on the building, but they did not have any explanation to what happened exactly. NADMO is still investigating the collapse of the building”.
According to him, “the way it was going we noticed it was very worrying. This is getting us worried because we have a municipal engineer here till this unfortunate incident occurred”.
He said, “When we find a structural defect on a building we report to the Municipal Engineer and inform him to take action”.
As to whether the owner of the building had the permit to build or not Mr Gyan said the NADMO has no such information.
The Regional NADMO boss, Kwame Kodua told DGN that they suspect some of the members are still under the collapsed structure as they are doing everything possible to retrieve them.
He explained that not only humans were trapped in the building but vehicles too are part.
Meanwhile, the Regional Minister, Eric Kwakye Darfour together with the team from the National Disaster Management Organization and the Ambulance Service are at the scene to rescue the members who are still trapped under the debris at the time of filing this report.