Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
3 January 2004 – Collapse of Church, Gondar Area, Ethiopia
At least 15 people died in Ethiopia’s Gondar region when a church they were worshipping in collapsed. The Mewa Tsadkan Gabriel church, 500 kilometres north-east of the capital Addis Ababa, was packed with about 500 people. The roof of the ancient church, carved out of rock, caved in as worshippers celebrated the annual feast of St Gabriel’s on Monday (29 December). Twenty people were rescued from the rubble of the 800-year old structure. The head of local police, Mr Alebel Kasim, said 20 others sustained serious or minor injuries, nine of whom were in critical condition. He also indicated that the death toll could increase. Tarekenge Emajnue, information officer for the Gondar region, said most of the worshippers who attended the festival had been outside the church when the roof fell in. News of the accident took a week to reach the outside world because the church is in a remote area, about 100 kilometres north of Gondar, the main town in the region.