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, which occurred at a Pentecostal church in Diangubo, in the coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal.
Worshippers gathered for a religious service organized as a precursor to Easter Sunday.
— Arrive Alive (@_ArriveAlive) April 19, 2019
South African police said that one of the church’s walls collapsed.
According to local reports, the area went through a storm and heavy winds, which are believed to have resulted in the incident.
Reports also said some people had been sleeping inside the church when the brick wall fell.
“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. #eNCApic.twitter.com/lQpPKXdsNz
— Siphamandla Goge (@SiphamandlaGoge) April 19, 2019