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Pretoria – Officials from the South African Mission in Lagos, in Nigeria, are still liaising with rescue workers and government authorities to establish whether any South African citizens are affected by the collapsed church building there.

The popular Lagos-based Synagogue Church Guest House building at Ikotun, in the downtown area of Lagos, collapsed on Friday.

“The Department is in contact with some of the organizers of the tour groups that travelled to the Synagogue. We know of at least five South African church tour groups that were at the Synagogue at the time of the collapse. However, it remains unclear how many South Africans were affected,” International Relations and Cooperation spokesperson Clayson Monyela said on Monday.

Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency on Sunday said 44 dead bodies have been recovered, while 130 people were trapped in the building.

Pastor in charge of the church, Temitope Joshua, has attributed the cause of the collapse to a mysterious helicopter flying repeatedly over the building.

Many worshipers injured were rushed to Isolo and Alimosho General Hospital, while corpses were deposited at the mortuary.

There is a possibility that some people could still be trapped in the collapsed building, as rescue efforts were still on.

Monyela said members of the public who wish to enquire about relatives can contact the department on a 24-hour basis using the following contact numbers: 012 351 0924 /012 351 1757.