A mosque crammed with hundreds of worshippers had crumbled in Zaria, a northern city in Nigeria’s Kaduna state, resulting in the loss of seven lives and leaving several others wounded, as confirmed by officials.
The heart-wrenching incident transpired during the Friday afternoon prayers at the central mosque in the city. Abdullahi Kwarbai, spokesperson for the Zaria Emirate Council, revealed that four bodies were initially recovered from the debris, with three more being found subsequently during the search and rescue operation.
Reports indicate that the mosque, which dates back to the 1830s, suffered the catastrophic collapse during the prayer session, leaving a profound impact on the community. Disturbing videos captured at the site display a conspicuous gap in the roof where the collapse occurred.
The gravity of the situation is underscored by the fact that twenty-three individuals were rushed to nearby hospitals, as stated by the state’s Emergency Management Agency.
Responding swiftly to the tragedy, Kaduna state Governor Uba Sani initiated an urgent investigation into the incident and extended a pledge to provide support to all those affected by the distressing occurrence. This calamity adds to a string of over a dozen building collapses that have plagued the West African nation in the past year.
Authorities continue to attribute these unfortunate incidents to the negligence of officials in enforcing building safety codes, coupled with insufficient maintenance practices and the use of substandard construction materials. The pressing need to rectify these underlying issues is further highlighted by the recurring nature of such disasters.