13 die in Empangeni church collapse
13 congregants of a Pentecostal church in Dlangubo on the outskirts of Empangeni were tragically killed on Thursday night, 18 April 2019, when their church building collapsed. Scores more were injured in the incident which is thought to have been the result of heavy rains. Empangeni Search and Rescue dive unit and K9 Search and Rescue attended to the scene, as did the Umhlathuze Fire and Rescue Services. The 13 who lost their lives were pulled from the rubble by the search teams and declared deceased on scene. A further 29 patients were treated on scene and transported to Ngwelezana Hospital for further treatment. K9 Troy searched the rubble in case of more survivors or victims to ensure none was left behind.
The bereaved families of 13 churchgoers killed in a church collapse in KwaZulu-Natal will identify their remains at the Richards Bay mortuary on Tuesday.
The majority of those who lost their lives when the wall and part of a roof at the Pentecostal Holiness Church in Dlangubo collapsed during a passover service on Thursday were women. A 13-year-old child also died.
On Sunday, the names of the deceased were released:
Samkelisiwe Mzila - Ulundi;
Thandazo Dube - Ulundi;
Minenhle Mdluli - Ulundi;
Nonkanyiselo Shandu - Ulundi;
Nokuthula Hlongwane - Ulundi;
Alice Mhlongo - eSikhawini;
Lungi Mcambi - eSikhawini;
Bongekile Masondo - eSikhawini;
Ntando Mlondi - eSikhawini;
Thule Ncube - eSikhawini;
Mthabela Andiswa - Maqhwakazi;
Thembi Mthabela - Maqhwakazi;
Alta Langa - Maqhwakazi.
KwaZulu-Natal Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) spokesperson, Lennox Mabaso, said the identification process would start at 9h00 in Richards Bay after a short prayer service. "Various government departments and municipalities have been assigned by the provincial government to provide all forms of help and support to the families of the deceased as they deal with the tragedy," Mabaso said.
Mabaso said counselling would also be given to the relatives identifying the bodies of their loved ones. "An additional team of doctors will be brought in to also assist," said Mabaso.
The collapse of the wall was being investigated by authorities. Since the incident, the church has received a stream of condolences and support from political, church, government and traditional leaders.
Source: Zululand Observer, News24