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Church Collapses While Under Construction Killing One Worker

Investigators on site at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church in Clinton, North Carolina

Representatives with the Department of Labor and Occupational Safety and Health Administration are working to find out why a church construction project in North Carolina collapsed killing one man on February 18th. The roof of Mt. Vernon Baptist Church in Clinton, North Carolina, collapsed during construction killing one worker and injuring two others. According to WRAL News in Raleigh, crews were adding wood around the structure that had been erected hours before. The contractor for the project is Clifton Halso Building Contractor of Chinquapin, North Carolina. The church was building a new sanctuary to coincide with the its 100th anniversary, according to Tony Rackley, chairman of the church’s Board of Deacons who was quoted on WRAL.

In an interview with the television station, the contractor, Clifton Halso Jr., said he has no idea what caused the roof to collapse. He says 32 of the 49 roof trusses that were in place crumbled. Halso is calling it a “freak accident.”

The worker who died has been identified as 35-year-old Jose Guadalupe Garcia. Inspectors with the state Division of Occupational Safety and Health have been to the site, taking photographs of the damage and looking for clues. Representatives from the agency say the investigation could take up to three months.

For more information, please visit www.wral.com/news/news_briefs/story/7103395/

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