Church built in 1963 collapses as Boko Haram strikes; 38 died including women and children

Adamgbe village in Vandeikya Local Government Area of Benue State is still in sombre mood following the Saturday’s collapse of St. Roberts Catholic Church on Easter eve which claimed the lives of 22 worshippers, comprising 16 women and six children.

As inhabitants of the village continued to brood over the unfortunate incident, some of the survivors of the tragedy have recounted their ordeal stating why the death toll was high among children and women.

According to Philip Ierkwagh, Mathias Tyagber and Joseph Wuhe who were at the service when the church building caved in, the death toll was high among women and children because they were the first to occupy the front row in the  church when the storm that pulled down the church chased worshippers from the open air service held outside the church.

According to Mathias Tyagber, “many of the women died because they were occupying the front roll and many of them had their children lying on mats and that was the first point that collapsed.

“Many of the male members of the church took refuge in a nearby primary school while the storm raged. When the building came crashing down, many of the children and women were instantly crushed. The death toll could have been higher but for swift rescue effort most of the survivors.”

A female survivor, Mrs. Memshima Terngu, who is currently receiving treatment at St. Monica Hospital in Adikpo, said she and her 12-year-old son escaped being crushed by the collapsing structure through the mercy of God. She said they were rescued from the rubble by members of the church who mobilised and pulled many of the victims from the bricks and the collapsed roof.

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