25 survivors from Nigeria return home

Monday, September 22, 2014

Pretoria – The 25 South Africans who were injured when a building at the Synagogue Church of all Nations in Nigeria collapsed, have arrived in the country.

The Inter-Ministerial Task Team on the Nigeria tragedy, led by Minister in the Presidency and Chairperson of the task team, Jeff Radebe, received the 25 patients, including three children, at the Swartkop Air Force Base in Pretoria on Monday.

“All South Africans injured in Nigeria when the building collapsed have been brought back home except for one who decided to go back to Synagogue Church of all Nations,” said Minister Radebe.

He said they have identified all South Africans, 84 deceased, 25 returned home and one remained in Lagos.

He said the evacuation was the biggest that South Africa embarked on since the dawn of democracy.

The most serious patients were brought out of the plane on stretchers first and taken to ambulances from the Gauteng Emergency Services, which transported the injured to the Steve Biko Hospital for assessment.

All the patients will be admitted and assessed prior to being transferred to the hospital of their choice or discharged according to their condition.

Families of the survivors are waiting for their loved ones' arrival at the hospital. Social workers will also be there to council the injured and their families.

Among those who returned home are two children who have lost their parents as a result of the incident.

He said one patient on board had Kidney complications and was receiving dialysis. Another patient had developed Gangrene and might need to have their toes amputated.

Minister Radebe appealed to the media to respect the privacy of the injured.

The minister also thanked all those who assisted in bringing the injured back home.

“This is the most difficult situation we are experiencing now. As the South African government, we are keenly awaiting for the investigation to be conducted,” Minister Radebe said.

He said the South African Assessment team in Lagos was continuing with the work of finalising the process of repatriation of deceased South African citizens.

Minister Radebe has requested families of South Africans who are not yet unaccounted for to contact the information line: 012 351 1000. – SAnews.gov.za

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