June 17, 2024

The Insider News

Direct from the source

Bishop seeks prayer for victims of church balcony collapse

A CATHOLIC bishop has asked prayers for for the victims of a collapsed portion of a church balcony in the city of San Jose Del Monte, north of Manila.

Bishop Dennis Villarojo of Malolos said the diocese and the St. Peter Apostle Parish Church in Tungkong Mangga village are working with the authorities to help the victims.

The city’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office reported that the accident claimed at least one life and hurt around 50 others, who are now receiving treatment at a hospital.

The fatality was identified as an 80-year-old woman, who was also a choir member.

“We pray for the eternal repose of the faithful departed and we offer our sincere condolences and assurance of assistance to the family,” said Villarojo.

“Meanwhile, the parish priest is doing whatever is good and coordinating with the authorities to assist the persons who have been affected by this incident,” he said.

The tragedy occurred around 7 a.m. during the Ash Wednesday Mass, which marks the beginning of the 40-day Season of Lent.

Based on initial information, a portion of the church’s second floor, made of wood, collapsed possibly due to overloading.

“The weight was probably too much for the structure,” Villarojo said. “But the details are not yet at hand. This will require some technical data so we need to know it first.”

The bishop said they are coordinating with the authorities who are investigating the incident.

“The parish church is closed until further notice,” he said. “I have also instructed all parish priests to check their parish structures considering the great number of faithful coming every year to Lenten celebrations.”