Roof collapses at church - one dead

February 17, 2010 9:00:00 PM PST
A roof collapsed at a Sampson County church Thursday.

It happened at Mount Vernon Baptist Church on Faison Highway just north of Clinton.

Pictures from Chopper 11 HD showed a building under construction and it appeared roof supports had toppled over. There was a huge pile of twisted trusses at one end of the structure.

Authorities said one construction worker was killed and two more were hurt after getting trapped under the wreckage.

"We [were] taking some of the 2x4s out and putting in new ones. Every time we took it out, we heard this sound, then suddenly boom! Half the structure came down," worker Orlando Martinez told ABC11.

The injured workers were flown to Chapel Hill for treatment. Darium Rony of Wallace, NC, and Adrian Norris, Jr., of Chinquapin, NC. were listed in stable condition with non lifethreatening injuries at UNC Hospitals.

Investigators haven't pinned down the exact cause of the accident, but the weather might be a factor.

"It was too windy," said Martinez. "We had a hard time time today working on the structure because it was too windy. They found the structure was bowed because it was too windy."

Local investigators are working on the case with state and federal officials.

"Our investigators are processing the scene, and documenting everything, and we are in contact with the Department of Labor and OSHA so they can come in and do their investigation," explained Capt. Eric Pope with the Sampson County Sheriff's Dept.

The dead worker was not identified pending notification of next of kin. Officials said the man's family lives in another country.

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