Authorities in northern Mexico reported that a church roof fell on Sunday during a mass, leaving at least nine people dead and around 50 others hurt.
According to officials, when the roof collapsed, it was thought that some 30 parishioners were trapped under the rubble. Rescuers searched the debris far into the night for potential survivors and further victims.
With roughly 100 people inside the church at the time of the collapse, according to the Tamaulipas state police, they wriggled under the roof slabs and called in dogs to help in the search.
According to ABC News, the state security spokesman's office announced late Sunday that nine deaths from the collapse had been confirmed. The collapse, which was likely the result of "a structural failure," was defined by the office as "a failure of construction."
Units from the National Guard, state police, state civil defense agency, and Red Cross were reportedly participating in the operation, according to the Tamaulipas state police.
The Mexican Council of Bishops released a statement after the collapse of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tampico, a church in Santa Cruz on the Gulf coast city of Ciudad Madero, near the port city of Tampico, saying that "we join in prayer at the tragic loss of life and those injured."
Following the incident, the diocese published a list of roughly 50 patients who had been admitted to the hospital, including a 4-month-old infant, three 5-year-olds, and two 9-year-olds. On their conditions, there was no instant information.
"People have been pulled out alive from beneath the rubble, thanks to Divine Providence and the efforts of the rescue teams!" The diocese of Alvarez stated this in a statement published on its social media pages. "Let's continue to pray!"
Additionally, he requested that anyone with donated wood bring it to the church so that it might be used to support the roof as rescue workers wriggled inside.
The roof partially collapsed to the ground. The edifice, which was discovered to be composed of concrete and brick, had gables, and in certain areas of the church, the roof slab rested on top of the pews.
The collapse was brought on by a simple structural breakdown rather than an explosion. The collapse of the church raises concerns about the existence of air pockets for survivors.
Alvarez stated in a taped message that "at this time, the necessary work is being performed to extract the people who are still under the rubble." "We are going through a very difficult time right now,"
Building collapses are typical in Mexico during earthquakes, but this one was not brought on by seismic activity, and there were no early signs of an explosion either, according to the National Seismological Service.