Floor collapse at Miss. church center; 35 hurt

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 20, 2014 at 5:48 pm •  Published: February 20, 2014
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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — As a student minister preached at a youth center in Mississippi, the wooden floor started to rumble and quickly collapsed, sending about 70 people tumbling and sliding onto the first floor below.

About 35 people were injured during the youth service Wednesday night, with most of them suffering cuts and bruises. A 16-year-old girl had a head injury, but none of the injuries was considered life-threatening. Everyone was released from the hospital by midnight.

"We were blessed by the Lord," said Tommy Davis, a pastor at Freedom Baptist Church. "Today, we are getting all the inspections done to a get a better perspective about what happened Wednesday night."

The two-story metal prefabricated building had been used as a community activity center for basketball games and meetings in Laurel, which is in southern Mississippi. There are classrooms and a large recreation room where the young congregation had gathered. The adult members of Freedom Baptist were worshipping at the church next door.

Linda Cranford, a spokeswoman for the Jones County Fire Council, said church leaders and members got their first good look inside the building Thursday.

"The floor collapsed in like a 'V' or funnel. It was an area of about 30 feet by 40 feet that gave way," Cranford said.

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