International News

Mexican Cathedral Collapse

By David Agren

MEXICO CITY (CNS) – A collapse of the falsework at a cathedral in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca killed four workers and injured 17 more, the Diocese of Tuxtepec said in a statement.

At least four additional workers remained missing as of March 4 and were presumed buried under debris, according to press reports.

The collapse occurred March 3 in the city of San Juan Bautista Tuxtepec, 275 miles southeast of Mexico City. Civil protection officials were unable to explain what caused the falsework – used to support the under-construction roof – to collapse and send debris crashing down 70 feet.

The Televisa network reported the workers were on the falsework as it fell.

Press photos from the scene showed civil protection officials, police and an estimated 2,000 volunteers hauling rubble from the cathedral — which was to be known as “The Ship” for its unique shape.

The Mexican bishops’ conference released a statement expressing sadness over the tragedy and offering prayers for the victims and their families.

The bishops sent “our prayers for the deceased and most heartfelt condolences for their families, to whom we express our solidarity and unconditional support at this time of grief,” the Diocese of Tuxtepec said in statement signed by Bishop Jose Gonzalez Juarez.

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