Mexico: at least ten dead when church roof collapses during mass


At least ten people were killed and around XNUMX injured in Mexico on Sunday when the roof of a church collapsed during a baptism in the city of Ciudad Madero, in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas, according to a new report. assessment of local government. 

“Unfortunately, we have had confirmation that ten people died, including five women, two men and three children,” Americo Villarreal, the Tamaulipas governor at the scene of the tragedy, told the press. The previous report showed nine deaths.

The body of a woman has yet to be recovered from the rubble and there are likely no other victims as missing people have been located, he added.

Around sixty people received medical treatment, of whom 23 remain hospitalized. “Two suffer serious injuries and their vital prognosis is in jeopardy,” he said.  

Asked about the causes of the roof collapse, he indicated that, according to the parish priest, no failure had been detected in this industrial-style church built around fifty years ago.

A member of the Red Cross previously said that the work of rescuers had ended and that specialized teams were expected for a "final" search operation under the rubble, on the Milenio television channel.

About 80 people were attending a baptism when the roof of the Santa Cruz parish church suddenly collapsed, he said. 

The accident occurred around 14:18 p.m. local time (20:18 p.m. GMT), likely due to a structural failure, authorities said in a statement.

“We are experiencing a very difficult moment (...) the roof of a church collapsed during the celebration of the Eucharist,” declared José Armando Alvarez, bishop of the diocese of Tampico to which the church belongs, in a statement. video broadcast on social networks.

Every Sunday was "special" because of the celebration of baptisms in the church attended by entire families, explained, very moved, on the 4C News channel, Father Angel Vargas, who officiated in the church at the time of the tragedy.

Emergency mobilization

“We unite in prayer with the diocese of Tampico to ask the Lord to watch over our deceased and injured brothers,” the archbishopric of Mexico wrote on the social network X (formerly Twitter).

Footage from Milenio TV showed dozens of people trying to support part of the collapsed structure with poles, while others made their way through the rubble in search of survivors.

Rescuers, as they did during relief operations following the 2017 earthquake that shook central Mexico, raised their fists in the air to demand silence and identify possible cries of people trapped.

The area is surrounded by several ambulances, police and military personnel, as well as many people who rushed in looking for family members who were in the church.

Messages were posted on social media asking for tools, such as hydraulic jacks or sledgehammers, to remove the debris.

Ciudad Madero is a municipality in southern Tamaulipas, on the Gulf Coast, with a population of just over 200.000.

The Editorial Board (with AFP)

Image credit: Shutterstock / hyotographics

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