The Bureau of Public Safety (BPS) has blamed the collapse of a three-storey church in Akim Batabi on the Building Inspectorate Department of the Akim Municipal Assembly.

It said the Department failed in its duties to ascertain the structural condition of the 25-year-old building.

An architect, Sampson Deklu, on behalf of the Bureau, recommended that in order to avert similar happenings in the near future, there should be an assessment of such weak buildings across the country.

“Moving forward, we will ask the Building Inspectorate Department of the Assembly to ensure that evaluations are run on all buildings of akin condition, to certify their state of safety for occupants,” he said.

The Church of Prosperity in the Eastern Region collapsed on Tuesday evening, with a reported number of about 45 to 60 inhabitants.

Meanwhile, Eastern Regional Minister, Eric Kwakye Darfuor confirmed to Joy News that nine persons were found dead and their bodies have been deposited at the Oda Government Hospital mortuary.

According to him, eight retrieved others have sustained severe injuries and are receiving treatment at the Regional Hospital.

He also noted that the exact number of persons still trapped under the debris is still unconfirmed.

The rescue team was made up of NADMO officials, Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), the police, soldiers from jungle warfare, fire personnel and local volunteers.