At least 10 people, including three children, have been killed and dozens more injured in Mexico after the roof of a church came crashing down during a baptism ceremony, according to local officials.
The incident occurred the northeastern coastal town of Ciudad Madero in the Tamaulipas state on Sunday.
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Working under floodlights, military personnel supported emergency services using rescue dogs and earthmoving equipment to identify and dig out survivors from the ruins of the church.
“Unfortunately, 10 people are confirmed dead. Of these, five are women, two men and three children,” Americo Villarreal, governor of Tamaulipas, told reporters at the scene.
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, Villarreal said, with 23 were still in hospital.
“Two have serious injuries, their lives may be in danger,” he added.
Jose Armando Alvarez, the bishop of the local diocese, said in a video posted on social media that “the roof of a church has collapsed during the celebration of the Eucharist”.
Rescue efforts continue
Several ambulances, patrol cars, and police and military personnel were at 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.
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.
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 town of just more than 200,000 people on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.
Source: News Agencies