A total of 14 people have been confirmed dead in the church collapse disaster at Akyem Batabi in the Asene Manso Akroso District, Eastern Regional Minister Eric Kwakye Darfour has said.
Rescue efforts are still continuing with the help of five excavators and sniffer dogs.
Meanwhile, the District Chief Executive of Asene Manso Akroso, Mr Alex Inkoom, has said his District Engineer revealed to him only on Tuesday, 20 October 2020, just hours after the collapse of the three-storey church at Akyem Batabi that he (the Engineer) had warned the church of the looming danger two weeks earlier after passing through the area.
According to the DCE, the District Engineer told him that he warned the church members and leaders during that visit that the structural integrity and engineering of the building, which has intermittently been under construction since 1994, was dangerous.
The church members, according to the DCE, retorted that they believed in God to protect them and also expressed faith that so far as they had Prophet Akoa Isaac as their spiritual leader, they were more than safe.
Mr Inkoom spoke to Accra100.5FM’s Kwabena Prah Jr on the station’s morning show Ghana Yensom on Wednesday, 21 October 2020.
The congregants of the Church of Prosperity, numbering more than 60, had converged on the church premises to pray and fast for their founder, who had been taken ill, when the incident happened.
More than 30 of the congregants survived and were rescued from the rubble but some 20 others were feared trapped under the debris.
First responders, including personnel from the Akim Oda Divisional Police Command, the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), Ambulance Service, and National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) have been racing against time to rescue those trapped under the rubble.
Rescue efforts are still ongoing.