The Akwa Ibom State Government yesterday launched a manhunt for the builder of the collapsed church in Uyo, the state capital.
One of the personal assistants to Governor Udom Emmanuel on Media, Mr Aniekeme Finbarr said the governor ordered the arrest of the contractors and engineers, who handled the building.
He said they should be made to answer certain questions so that the state would get to the root of the matter.
Police commissioner, Murtala Mani said yesterday that 27 people died when the uncompleted Reigners Bible Church building collapsed on Saturday in Uyo.
He gave the figure of the injured as 37, saying the casualty figures were collated at the end of evacuation late on Saturday.
Mani said: ”For now, we can confirm that 27 persons died during the church building collapse on Saturday.
“We have concluded rescue operation but we are monitoring the situation to see what happens further,” Mani said.
The victims evacuated from the collapsed church on Uyo Village Road near the Government House are at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, St Lukes Hospital, Ibom Specialist Hospital and Lifecare Hospital.
Akwa Ibom Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) Chairman Aniekeme Uwah, said 22 bodies were deposited at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital.
Uwah, who could not confirm the total number of deaths in other hospitals, said he had mobilised all medical practitioners in the state to be part of the rescue operation.
He said it was not possible to identify the number of injured government officials and clergymen because the focus of rescue operation was on saving lives.
Residents yesterday thronged the scene of the accident to catch a glimpse of the premises were locked and guarded by security operatives.