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Church balcony in San Jose del Monte collapses during mass leaving 1 dead, 52 injured

By AYIE LICSI Published Feb 14, 2024 2:57 pm

The balcony of a church in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan collapsed in the middle of Ash Wednesday mass, leaving 52 injured and one person dead.

It was past 7 a.m. when part of the St. Peter the Apostle Church in Barangay Tungkong Mangga caved in. The City of San Jose del Monte Public Information Office (CSJDM-PIO) reported that a shriek was first heard followed by more people shouting as the second floor crumbled.

The City's Disaster Risk and Management Council (CDRMC) said that 53 were injured during the collapse, including an 80-year-old woman who later died after sustaining injuries.

Pictures shared on the CSJDM-PIO Facebook page showed parts of the balcony's wooden floor falling to the ground with plastic chairs and other debris littered all over the ground floor.

About 400 people were attending the Ash Wednesday mass, city disaster official Ruben Fortun told AFP. He added that the wooden floor of the church "was likely overloaded."

San Jose del Monte Mayor Arthur Robes has ordered the church to halt masses as they inspected and assessed its structure. The local government will also shoulder the hospital expenses for those who suffered injuries during the accident.

Clearing operations have been ongoing in the parish while in its latest update as of writing, the CSJDM-PIO said that some of the injured individuals have already been treated and sent home while others are under observation.