Some of those who were injured when part of the wall of the Pentecostal Holiness Church in Empangeni on the KwaZulu-Natal on the north coast collapsed on Thursday night, have been discharged from hospital. However, two of them are still in the intensive care unit.

13 people were killed and 29 others injured. Preliminary reports from the disaster management team have revealed that one of the deceased was a ten-year-old boy. The other 12 deceased are women.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has wished the injured a speedy recovery and has this message for the bereaved families.

“This saddens us a great deal and we want to pass our condolences to the families of those who have departed. We believe that there are more than 60 people who are also injured and we wish them a speedy recovery.”

The families of the victims are only expected to identify the bodies of their loved ones after the long weekend. Some of the injured have been discharged from hospital. However, two of them are still in the intensive care unit.

The area was lashed by gale force winds on Thursday night. Church members say some of the victims were asleep at the time. Church leaders say they couldn’t alert emergency services due to bad network reception. They were forced to drive to the nearest police station for help.

– Additional reporting by Mlungisi Khumalo.

 

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