At least seven people were killed and ten others injured in Mexico on Sunday when the roof of a church collapsed during mass in the city of Ciudad Madero in Tamaulipas state, the local government said.
“Seven people are confirmed dead and ten injured have been rescued,” the state government security spokesperson said in a statement, indicating that searches were underway to rescue the trapped people.
According to local media, at least 20 people were trapped under the rubble of the industrial-style Santa Cruz parish church.
The accident occurred around 2:18 p.m. local time when, likely due to a structural failure, the upper part of the church collapsed, authorities said in a statement.
“We are living in a very difficult moment (…) the roof of a church collapsed during the celebration of the Eucharist,” said José Armando Alvarez, bishop of the diocese of Tampico, to which the church belongs, in a video posted on social networks.
“At present, the necessary work is underway to evacuate those still under the rubble,” he added, without specifying the number of people affected.
The governor of Tamaulipas, Américo Villareal, deplored the tragedy on his X account (ex-Twitter) and indicated that the emergency services had been mobilized to take care of the victims.
“The security and civil protection services are already managing the situation (…) they are on site to coordinate rescue operations,” he wrote.
Footage from Milenio television channel 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 had done during relief operations following the 2017 earthquake that shook central Mexico, raised their fists in the air to demand silence and identify any cries of those caught in the fire. trap.
The area is surrounded by several ambulances, police and military personnel, as well as many people rushing around 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.
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