Floor collapse at Miss. church center; 35 hurt

MYRICK, Miss. (AP) — The pastor of a Mississippi church is praising God that there were no broken bones or serious injuries when the second floor of its youth center collapsed, sending more than 70 young people tumbling and sliding onto the first floor below.

The wooden floor gave way Wednesday evening as a student minister was preaching.

About 35 people were hurt, but Pastor Tommy Davis says by "God's grace and mercy" everyone was released from the hospital by midnight.

The two-story metal prefabricated building had been used as a community center in Laurel, which is in southern Mississippi. There are classrooms and a large recreation room where the young congregation had gathered. The adult members of Freedom Baptist Church were worshipping at the church next door.

Linda Cranford, a spokeswoman for the Jones County Fire Council, said, "The floor collapsed in like a 'V' or funnel. It was an area of about 30 feet by 40 feet that gave way."

Pastor Davis says the building will be either repaired or replaced to accommodate his church's "vibrant youth ministry."

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