At least eight worshipers were killed and 25 others sustained injuries as a section of the 150-year-old Zaria Central Mosque collapsed on Friday during prayer session.
The incident, it was learnt, occurred at about 4pm while the worshippers were praying.
One of the survivors, Mallam Shehu Nagari, said the incident happened when they were in the second Sujud of Asr prayer.
According to him, the affected portion of the mosque suddenly collapsed on those sitting directly under it.
Nagari said all he knew was that the affected worshippers were covered by the rubble because the section was built with mud over 150 years ago.
As of the time of filing this report Nagari said he couldn’t ascertain the actual number of victims involved in the incident.
The Emir of Zazzau, Mallam Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli, who confirmed the incident, said the victims were observing the Asr prayer around 4pm when the incident occurred.
“We had earlier observed a crack on the wall of the mosque yesterday (Thursday) and were planning to deploy a team of civil engineers to effect repairs when this unfortunate incident happened,” he added.
The monarch, while offering his condolences to the family of the victims, asked Muslim faithful to pray outside the mosque pending the repairs. He said funeral prayer for the corpses would be observed at 8.30pm later on Friday at the palace.
Meanwhile, the Kaduna State Police Command on Friday night confirmed the death of eight persons in the incident.
Speaking to one of our correspondents on Friday night, the police spokesperson in the state, Mohammed Jalige said, “Yes the incident happened and unfortunately eight people died while 25 people were rescued after the incident.
“The state Commissioner of Police has directed a full-scale investigation, with a view to unveiling the cause of the collapse. But currently, we know that there was this ancient building built by one of the emirs in the past and it has been there I think for more than 100 years. It was not demolished even after the renovation of the mosque.”