KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The cause of the partial collapse of a church more than 80-years-old in the historic Northeast neighborhood on Thursday remains under investigation.
Forty-four children and more than a dozen staff members escaped the Apostolic Assembly of the Faith in Christ Jesus building without injury just after 10:30 a.m., Thursday, in what the church’s pastor called a miracle .
Engineers, city officials and KCFD officials swarmed the site throughout the day Thursday, but no root cause of the collapse of the building’s sanctuary wall could be immediately determined. The building was not on the city’s hazardous buildings list, nor had it failed any recent inspections, according to public record and a Kansas City spokesman.
“Apparently this building is 75 to 100 years old, so I just don't know,” Kansas City dangerous buildings manager Delena Taylor said at the scene. “We don't even know what could have caused it.”
Speculation Thursday focused on the role of Wednesday’s heavy rains, and on the possibility of internal construction on the building. Pastor Herminio Leal said the only changes inside the building were minor, mostly new paint.
After dark on Thursday, crews staged heavy equipment to begin the cleanup process Friday. Pastor Leal said he had not yet been told whether any part of the building could be salvaged.
Vacation Bible school has been canceled for Aug. 8.