With crime tape blocking off Mount Vernon Baptist Church in Clinton, officials are looking into the
cause of a roof collapse Thursday.
One person was killed and
two injured in the incident.
“It’s bad,” said Tony
Rackley, chairman of the church’s board of deacons, to a media outlet. “This is
really, really bad.”
The church, located at 3790
Faison Highway (N.C. 403), was in the process of building a new sanctuary,
according to church members. Aerial views of the site indicated the structure
was separate from the main church.
The Clinton Fire Department,
the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office and Sampson County EMS responded to Mount
Vernon shortly before 4:30 p.m. Thursday following a call of a building
collapse, according to Sheriff’s Capt. Eric Pope.
Investigators said workers with Clifton Halso Inc. General Contractors out of
Chinquapin were putting up trusses when a large section of the structure’s
front portion fell on top of them.
One man, a Hispanic male, was pronounced dead at the scene. The man was
reportedly walking beneath a section of the rafters when it fell.
Two others were transported to Sampson Regional Medical Center, one of which
after the helicopter airlifting him was diverted. The names of the three men
are being withheld pending notification of their family members, Pope said.
extent of the injuries sustained by the other two men were not immediately
Department of Labor officials are helping the sheriff’s office process the
Ray Gainey, chairman of the
church’s Building and Planning Committee, was also at the scene with Rackley
working with investigators to figure out the cause.
Rackley said he did not want
to speculate as to what caused the collapse, but stated a thorough
investigation would be conducted.
Gainey said he was “shocked” by the
occurrence. The church had begun construction on the new sanctuary in November,