The search-and-rescue operation at the collapsed five-storey church building at Akyem Batabi has come to an end.
Rescue workers combed through the rubble overnight as they searched for about 60 worshippers said to be praying in the building at the time of its collapse on Tuesday (20 October 2020).
Hopes of anxious relatives of the victims have been dashed as a stench has begun to emerge from the rubble.
According to authorities, a full-blown investigation will be conducted to ascertain the cause of the accident and bring those responsible to book.
The death toll stands at 22 out of 30 people rescued from the rubble of the Church of Prosperity.
Rescue workers continued to comb through the rubble overnight, search for worshippers said to have been praying in the building at the time of its collapse.
Speaking to journalists, Eric Nana Agyemang Prempeh, the director-general of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), announced that the search operation at Akyem Batabi has officially ended.
“This is sad news [but] we cannot do anything about it,” he said. “We will only give it to the Almighty God.”
He said that NADMO will continue to collaborate with the emergency services to ascertain the cause of the collapse.
“We want to assure [Alex Inkoom, the local district chief executive for Asene Manso Akroso] that NADMO will co-ordinate all the relevant agencies to support his call for investigations so that all the culprits will be punished,” he said.
Agyemang Prempeh urged local assemblies to step up physical inspection of properties to avoid future occurrence of events similar to the Akyem Batabi disaster. He also expressed condolences to families that lost loved ones in the accident.
The bodies of those killed in the collapse have been deposited at the Akyem Oda Government Hospital.