NEW YORK (AP) — The bishop who oversees a storefront church destroyed by today's building explosion in New York City says it has been there for decades and recently celebrated its 80th birthday.
The Spanish Christian Church was in one the two East Harlem apartment buildings flattened by the blast apparently caused by a gas leak. At least three people were killed and dozens more were injured.
Bishop Fernando Rodriguez says Pastor Thomas Perez and his congregation were trying to locate some church members who lived above the worship center. Some turned out to be at work and others were hospitalized.
Rodriguez says the blast reminds him of when he was a chaplain during the Nine-Eleven terrorist attacks. Now, as then, he says it's important to trust God for healing and restoration. The bishop says there's already a lot of prayer and support for rebuilding the church.
Sound: 6:32 p.m.