As many as 35 student worshippers were injured when part of a second floor of a rural Mississippi church collapsed right under them during an evening youth service, according to reports. The teenagers were among 70 in total that had gathered for the event, which was held in the Freedom Baptist Church's activity room, located right upstairs from its kitchen -- which was, thankfully, unoccupied at the time of the incident. Right in the middle of the service, the floor started to give way. A loud rumbling sound was heard before the floor caved in and dropped 12 feet, dragging the young worshippers down with it.
A 16-year-old girl who sustained a head injury was taken to a hospital in a nearby city, while 19 others were also admitted to a medical facility to treat scrapes, cuts, and possibly broken bones.
According to reports, the students in attendance ranged between 7th and 12th grade. Most were understandably upset by what had happened -- honestly, what an unexpectedly shocking thing to take place during a peaceful ceremony -- but all of the children were reunited with their parents after the incident and seem to be doing well.
Given the details of this incident -- all of those young people trapped in tight quarters and sustaining a pretty significant 12-foot drop -- it's amazing more serious injuries were not reported. Either the adult leaders present at the church were cool as cucumbers and able to calm the children before they panicked or the students themselves are incredibly level-headed. It doesn't seem like the sort of hysteria that leads to people rushing for the door and risking trampling injuries or worse took place in this case. The injured students were treated quickly and Pastor Tommy Davis credits God for watching over the children.
Have you ever been involved in an incident that caused widespread panic?
Image via Renato Ganoza/Flickr