Sun, 25 Aug 2019

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Willies Mchunu has called for an investigation into the safety of a church building in Empangeni where 13 people died during an Easter church gathering, EWN reported on Friday.

The premier also reportedly said the tragedy could have been avoided.

News24 reported earlier that 13 people were killed when part of a Pentecostal Church building collapsed on Thursday night in Dlangubo in KwaZulu-Natal.

This is thought to have been a result of perpetual rainfall in the northern part of the province, KwaZulu-Natal Emergency Medical Services spokesperson Robert McKenzie said.

Tragedy struck while a Passover service was underway, also resulting in six people sustaining serious injuries and 10 minor injuries, he said.

Provincial police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said the area experienced a storm and heavy winds which are believed to have resulted in the incident.

READ: 13 killed in KZN church collapse as heavy storms hit province

Police were still at the scene and a total of 29 people have been transported to hospital, she told News24.

According to her information, people had been sleeping in the church when the walls collapsed.

'Could have been avoided'

Mchunu's spokesperson Thami Ngidi told EWN: "These are unnecessary deaths that could have been avoided if we had taken the necessary precautions. We would like some kind of clarity through an investigation which is led by police and the relevant department which is Cogta."

KwaZulu-Natal Cogta spokesperson Senzo Mzila told News24 that the department would issue a statement on Friday.

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