Congregants who had gathered to usher in Easter weekend were struck by tragedy as the church building housing them collapsed, killing 13 of the churchgoers and leaving scores injured.
Reports say, officials believe heavy rains caused the front wall to collapse at the Pentecostal Holiness Church in Ndlangubo, in South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal province.
Police are still at the scene and a total of 29 people have been transported to hospital, police told local news.
She said: "The congregants were sleeping in the building after the church service ended just after 10pm".
A preliminary investigation cited the heavy rains as a primary factor in the structural collapse. Emergency personnel said almost three dozen people were injured, at least six critically.
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Thirteen worshippers have been killed after the wall of a church where they were taking part in Passover prayers collapsed on top of them.
COGTA MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube and officials are reportedly making their way to the scene.
She visited the scene and said: "Even at this hard time, we still need to trust in God".
Zwakele Mncwango, the DA's KZN leader and premier candidate, said: "The Democratic Alliance in KwaZulu-Natal sends its heartfelt condolences to the families of 13 people killed in a church collapse".
"This is a devastating tragedy and all the more that these lives have been lost as we begin our Passover services".