At least 10 people were killed on Friday after an ancient mosque suddenly collapsed in Kaduna state in northern Nigeria, police said on Saturday.
The mosque partially collapsed during evening prayers on Friday in Zaria town, police spokesman Mohammed Jalige told Xinhua by telephone.
Ten dead bodies were recovered from the debris of the mosque, while 25 injured victims were rescued, among whom seven were seriously injured, Jalige said, adding that the rescue operation has ended and a full-scale investigation into the incident has commenced.
“We had earlier observed a crack in the wall of the mosque a day earlier and were planning to deploy a team of civil engineers to effect repairs when this unfortunate incident occurred,” Ahmed Bamali, the emir of Zaria, told local media.
The iconic mosque, constructed in the 1830s, had for decades opened its doors to Muslim faithful from all parts of the world, said Governor of Kaduna state Uba Sani.
Cases of building collapses are not uncommon in Nigeria, and local experts blame them on aging structures, non-compliance with building planning and regulations, and the use of substandard materials during construction.