The tragic incident occurred during Passover session on Thursday, April 18, 2019. According to a preliminary report, the failure occurred due to persistent rainfalls in the region that forced the roof of the building to give way. "The roof of the building collapsed because of heavy rains last night ... at this point we have a total of 13 fatalities," Lennox Mabaso, spokesman for Kwa-Zulu Natal province's traditional affairs department, stated.
Following the collapse, the African National Congress sent its condolences. “The African National Congress in KwaZulu-Natal sends its deepest condolences to the relatives of the 13 people who sadly lost their lives when the side wall of the Pentecostal church building... collapsed following heavy rainfall. We join hands alongside the bereaved families who have lost their loved ones at this poignant time of the Passover due to such a sudden and unexpected disaster. We join hands with them, acutely aware of the excruciating pain that they must be going through," the Congress stated.
Officials are currently carrying out an investigation on the causes of the collapse to find out if the building was structurally sound. “These are unnecessary deaths that could have been avoided if we had taken the necessary precautions. We would like some kind of clarity through an investigation which is led by police and the relevant department which is Cogta,” Thami Ngidi, KwaZulu-Natal province's premier spokesperson, stated.
Meanwhile, more buildings suffered critical damage during the aforementioned storms. The roofs of many residential structures and of some restaurants were blown off and emergency crews had to take care of people that sustained injuries from the debris.