Lagos building disaster kills over 40

Headquarters of televangelist collapses

The death toll has reportedly risen to 44 following the collapse of a large church guest house in the Ikotun district of Lagos on 12 September.

The five-storey property belonged to the Synagogue Church of All Nations, led by T.B. Joshua, the self-styled “prophet” and one of Africa’s wealthiest evangelical clerics. It was the Lagos headquarters of Joshua, a controvesial pastor known to preach to vast audiences.

The televangelist has linked the disaster with a low-flying light aircraft that he maintains had circled the building four times before it broke up, claiming it may have been an attempt to kill him.

At first angry church members prevented the emergency services from attending the church compound.

Local authorities say that the lower two floors of the building had operated as a guest house but that there appeared to be an additional upper three floors under construction.

Last year, four people were killed and 30 seriously injured in a stampede at an Accra church owned by Joshua, who is known for his self-acclaimed healing powers and prophecies.