The heavy cement roof tiles which came down on to congregants at the Verulam Mosque, fortunately landed in an almost empty hall. The SAPS K9 Search and Rescue Unit was called in to search for any worshippers who might have been stuck under the rubble. Fortunately, three people who were already pulled out suffered only minor injuries. Pictures: REACTION UNIT SOUTH AFRICA and SUPPLIED
A Verulam family is still shaken at the collapse of the roof of a prayer hall at a mosque just minutes after prayer ended. 

Fatima Ahmed, was in the living quarters above the hall at the Verulam Mosque yesterday when she heard a rumbling sound. 

“I could feel the house shake and then heard a crash,” she said. 

Reaction Unit South Africa (Rusa) arrived on the scene at about 1.34pm, after receiving numerous distress calls. 

Ahmed’s husband, Moulana Abed and other worshippers had already started rescuing people buried in the rubble. 

“We could hear muffled cries for help, it was terrible,” he said. 

Three people suffered minor injuries and were taken to hospital for further treatment.

The SAPS K9 Search and Rescue unit was also called in to ensure there was no one else buried under the rubble. 

A K9 Search and Rescue member at the scene in Verulam yesterday. 

There had been no inclement weather, weight on the roof or any sign that it was structurally unsound. 

“We just thank God for saving the worshippers.

“If this happened two or three minutes earlier or on a day when the hall was full to capacity with 150 people, it would have been much worse,” said Fatima.