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“Nine Killed as Roof of Mexico Church Comes Crashing Down

At least nine people have died in the tragic collapse of a church roof in the Mexican state of Puebla. The incident occurred shortly after midday on Sunday, 17 January 2021, in the town of Atzala, when the roof of Ermita de Atzala church suddenly collapsed. According to police, the church was crowded for a celebration and those who died included two children and four women. In addition, at least forty-seven people were injured and were rushed to nearby hospitals. Local mayor Juan Antonio Calderón said rescuers were desperately combing through the rubble to try and find more survivors. He said that apart from the dead, seven people had also sustained serious injuries. Officials have not yet commented on the cause of the roof collapse but it is believed to have been due to heavy rains that lashed the region since the night before. Initial reports suggest the age of the building may have played a role in the collapse, as much of the architecture in Mexico is made of concrete, metal and wood. The incident follows a separate church roof collapse in the city of Huejotzingo, which killed thirteen people in 2019. This underscores the urgent need for the repair and maintenance of old structures in the country, which are plagued by structural deficits and lack of building codes. The Mexican government has also set up an emergency relief fund for those affected by the tragedy and made arrangements with the Red Cross Mexico for medical aid and other assistance. This latest disaster has resulted in immense grief and anguish for the residents of Atzala. Our hearts go out to all those who have suffered. We hope for better days ahead for the community.