MONTERREY, Mexico – The death toll from the collapse of a church roof during a Sunday Mass in northern Mexico has risen to 11, with around 60 others injured, officials said on Monday, as local authorities began wrapping up search and rescue efforts.
Five women, two men and three children were among those killed at the church in the Gulf Coast city of Ciudad Madero in Tamaulipas state, state Governor Americo Villarreal said. The death toll rose to 11 later on Monday after another young women died, a local media report said, citing the state health minister.
Footage posted on social media showed the moment the church roof caved in, puffs of gray smoke billowing into the air, followed by the toppling of yellow brick outer walls.
Mexican media reported that several children were being baptized during the Mass.
All of the people attending the service are now believed to be accounted for, Villarreal said, as military personnel and emergency services used rescue dogs and heavy machinery to sift through the ruins.
The governor added that 23 people remained hospitalized, with two in serious condition.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador offered his condolences to the families of the victims during his regular morning press conference.
Bishop Jose Armando Alvarez from the Roman Catholic Diocese of nearby Tampico said the church roof crumbled as worshippers were receiving communion and asked others to pray for survivors.
“We still don’t know what caused (the collapse),” diocese spokesman Nestor Javier Lopez told newspaper Reforma. “We hope that authorities do their job and let us know what happened.” — Reuters