FIVE members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church Bethsaida Congregation in Luyeye Village of Kasama died when the church building they were in collapsed due to heavy rains.
The incident which happened on Saturday afternoon also left four church members injured and are admitted to the Kasama General Hospital.
Kasama District Commissioner Elizabeth Goma confirmed in an interview that three people including an infant died on the spot while two adult victims later died at the hospital in the evening.
And Ms Goma has disclosed that 47 houses in the same area have been destroyed by the rains although no fatalities were recorded in the incident.
And Northern Province Minister Leonard Mbao who visited the scene last evening said it is disheartening to lose lives in such a manner barely a week after rains started in the area.
He has challenged the local authority to ensure that they inspect and certify all buildings so that they are fit for habitation and avoid further loss of lives.
“We need to be proactive to ensure that we avoid further loss of lives, it has just rained for one week and we have been told that we are expected to receive more rains, so we need to be proactive and ensure that all buildings are inspected and certified to avoid further loss of lives,” he said.
Mr. Mbao said his office will soon engage churches and other stakeholders for a meeting to discuss these issues.
And Leading Fire Fighter from the Kasama Fire Brigade Hosea Mbao has attributed the collapse of the church building to poor building materials used during construction.
“We found people trapped inside the building when we arrived at the scene and joined others who were trying to pull them out.
“After assessment of the building, it is clear that the building material used was of poor quality,” said Mr Mbao.
And a church steward, Mr Francis Mfule who survived the tragedy narrated that they were in the middle of the Bible Study when the church collapsed following heavy rains.
Mr Mfule said from his hospital bed that the church structure which was built in 2020 was in an incomplete state. – ZANIS.