By Jesus Lopez-Gomez
Demolition crews are continuing work today leveling the worship house Rio de Agua Viva, a church in northeast Kansas City.
The church – which typically hosts about 150 worshippers and has a capacity for 300 – was hosting vacation bible school for 44 children Wednesday when, around 10 a.m., the 100-year-old structure began to collapse without warning.
Pastor Herminio Leal gave a press conference in front of the church that evening emphasizing the good: no one was hurt. Leal said his congregation had been afforded in the tragedy.
“First of all, I thank God for the miracle,” the visibly shaken said. “You can clearly see the hand of God in this.”
At the time of the news conference, Leal noted the build hadn’t yet been dismissed as completely unsalvageable. He was still waiting to see how the building’s condition was rated by inspectors.
Shortly after, another chunk of the building came crashing down. KCTV5’s reporter was interviewing a city inspector when the another piece of the church resigned to its weight and came down.
Preliminary investigations show the age of the building – which was built in 1931 – combined with both structural deficiencies and Wednesday’s heavy rain all played a part in Thursday’s collapse. Leal said the building’s insurer’s would deliver a more detailed report in the next few days.
A network of sister congregations will host the worshippers in the months to follow, Leal said.
Look for complete coverage in the next edition of Dos Mundos