The Delta state police command has said that another death has been recorded, a development which has increased casualty figures to four.
According to the police public relations officer, DSP Bright Edafe, the fourth death was recorded on Wednesday, making a total of two women and two children.
Earlier the police had released a report detailing the number of casualties. In the earlier statement, Edafe said 18 persons were rescued from the rubbles, four persons discharged from the hospital, 11 still receiving treatment while three deaths recorded.
He said the death include two female children and one woman, thereby dispelling speculation that 10 persons died in the unfortunate incident.
However, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has set up a seven man committee to determine the cause of the collapsed structure.
According to the government statement signed by secretary to the state government, Chief Patrick Ukah, the panel of inquiry is to ascertain the number and identity of the deceased and the injured in the building.
The panel is also to ascertain the immediate and remote causes of the collapse and to examine whether laws regulating buildings were complied with in the case of the affected building and identify any person or institution culpable in that regard.
A report posted by Anioma Trust revealed that over 150 worshippers were in the building when it collapsed.
Anioma Trust reported that as at the time of collapse, workers carrying out reconstruction were still on site and the site engineer immediately abandoned his car and took cover when it was obvious the building was caving in.
According to the report, the one storey building belonged to an Okpanam politician and former Oshimili North Council Chairman, Hon. Ben Okonkwo who later sold it to another landlord, but before then, had collected two years rent from the church who had occupied the building for several years.
Not waiting for the rent of the tenants to expire or give them time to look for another property, the new landlord quickly moved in and started reconstruction project.
It was gathered that the engineer did remove the enforcement of the building and started joining up bricks and compartmentalising the apartment, leaving the decking bare while all pleas for them to give the church time to finish with their annual fasting and prayer programme were rebuffed.
Speaking to an expert in civil engineering with a reputable engineering firm, he said the way to go in this kind of scenario is to carry out detailed investigation into the incident.
He posited that government would have to first confirm if the building was approved and if the nature of work being carried out in the renovation project was equally approved.
In a similar vein, Church Gist, a Facebook page that publishes religious articles, revealed that the facility, which rent was renewed in November 2021, was sold with its subsisting tenancy in December 2021.
The new owner without prior notice to the tenants, Salvation Ministries, entered the Church facility to take custody of the building.
According to Church Gist, shocked by the development, the church approached its landlord, the former owner, who confirmed the sale of the building and offered to refund the subsisting rent.
It added that attempts by the church authorities to negotiate with the new owner did not yield any result as he was adamant on recovering his property.
Matters reportedly came to a head, when during the church service he authorised the removal of a pillar in the building.
This is believed to be the immediate cause of the unfortunate collapse of the building during church service, resulting in the avoidable loss of four lives.