DAILY CATHOLIC    TUESDAY     November 9, 1999     vol. 10, no. 212

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

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CHURCH ROOF COLLAPSE INJURES DOZENS IN FLORIDA WHILE FIRE AT CALIFORNIA CHURCH LABELED ARSON

        ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Florida (CWNews.com) - The collapse of a roof on a covered walkway at a Catholic Church on Sunday injured 23 people, six of them seriously.

        Dozens of people were gathered near the walkway Sunday morning at St. Mary Magdalene Church following a Mass when part of the concrete roof on the 72-foot-long walkway fell. "A couple of people were able to run off to the side. Others that didn't see it or got caught by surprise or couldn't move fast enough got caught underneath," said fire spokesman Alan Harris. Eleven people were taken to the hospital in ambulances, with the two most serious injuries including a broken hip and a spinal injury.

        "I heard the crash, looked out the window, saw everybody running, but I didn't know what it was all about," said Sister Rita Galligan, who heard it from her home at the convent next door. "There was no wind, no rain, no bump, no nothing. It just happened." The walkway connects the church to offices and must be passed through to go to the parking lot.

        The city building inspector blamed the collapse on a nail that dislodged from a rotten wooden beam supporting the roof, Harris said. "The nail that held the mesh to the beam fell out and, by the pure weight of it, started a domino effect that brought the whole thing down," said Harris.

        Meanwhile in Stockton, California police and arson investigators on Monday were investigating a suspicious fire at a Catholic Church following a Sunday evening Mass.

        Investigators said they found a swastika painted on an outside wall of the Church of the Presentation following the fire. The blaze caused extensive damage to the sanctuary and a classroom area.

        While the fire was described as suspicious, candles were used during the service and haven't been ruled out as a possible cause, a fire department spokesman said. A freshly painted swastika and other graffiti was found on a wall and on a statue in a garden area.


Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

November 9, 1999       volume 10, no. 212
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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