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At Least 10 Dead In Mexico Church Roof Collapse

At least 60 people were treated for injuries, the governor said, with 23 still hospitalized.


Rescuers and members of Civil Protection are seen working to rescue people who were trapped after a church roof collapsed in Ciudad Madero, Tamaulipas State, Mexico, on October 1, 2023. AFP

 

At least ten people, including three children, were killed and 60 more injured when the roof of a church came crashing down on a baptism in northeastern Mexico on Sunday, authorities said.

The disaster struck the coastal town of Ciudad Madero, in Tamaulipas state, with a Red Cross rescuer telling local media that 80 people had been in attendance at the Santa Cruz parish when the roof caved in.

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“Unfortunately, ten people are confirmed dead. Of these, five are women, two men and three children,” Americo Villarreal, governor of Tamaulipas, told reporters at the scene of the disaster.

Rescue workers were attempting to recover the body of a woman from the rubble, but the death toll was not expected to rise as all of the missing had been accounted for, he added.

At least 60 people were treated for injuries, the governor said, with 23 still hospitalized.

“Two have serious injuries, their lives may be in danger,” he said.

Church officials said a baptism was being celebrated when the ceiling collapsed.

“We are experiencing a very difficult moment… the roof of a church has collapsed during the celebration of the Eucharist,” the bishop of the local diocese Jose Armando Alvarez said in a video posted to social media.

 

Rescue effort

 

Earlier, ambulances, patrol cars and police and military personnel had rushed to the site, in addition to numerous people in search of family members who were in the church.

Local media showed footage of dozens of people trying to hold up part of the collapsed structure with poles while others made their way through the wreckage in search of survivors.

In a scene reminiscent of earthquake recovery efforts, rescuers could be seen raising their fists in the air as a call for silence so they might hear any calls for help coming from people stuck under the wreckage.

“Security and civil protection forces are already dealing with the situation… to coordinate rescue plans,” Tamaulipas Governor Villarreal had said earlier on social media platform X.

A video reportedly from a nearby security camera appears to show the moment of collapse, as the church building disappears into a cloud of dust.

The Archdiocese of Mexico posted a message on social media offering condolences.

“We join in prayer with our sister diocese Tampico to intercede for our killed and injured brothers,” it said.

Local residents put out calls on social media asking for tools to aid the rescue effort, such as hydraulic lifts, wood and hammers.

Ciudad Madero is a city of just over 200,000 people on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.

AFP