Children, staff escape building following partial collapse

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - As news crews arrived on the scene of breaking news to the church collapse in Northeast Kansas City, children were being walked out of the building.

In a video shot, one of the young men was carrying in his arms another girl who had braces on her legs and couldn’t walk on her own.

We asked, "Where you guys in there? Are you OK?"

"Yeah. It's OK. It's OK," he answered.

Most of them spoke Spanish, but another younger boy heard our news crew speaking English and explained what it was like.

"It was like breaking, half of the church, and it cracked,” the little boy said as he was holding the hand of his friend to safety.

"How close were you?” we asked.

"Like close to it but we started running," he answered.

There were 44 children in the church called the Apostolic Assembly of the Faith in Christ near independence Avenue and Belton, according the Kansas City Fire Department spokesman James Garrett. He also said there were 20 staff members inside, making a total of 64 people.

They were walked to another church about a block away for safety called the Independence Boulevard Christian Church, which is not affiliated with the church which collapsed.

"We are just having them come down here for shelter in case it rains and so their parents can have somewhere to come and to see if their children are OK," said Elke Flaharty, a member of the church.

All of the people were unharmed, according to officials.

This was only day two of Vacation Bible School at the church.

The pastor’s son, Julio Leal, was there to pick up his daughter, Joceline.

"It’s unfortunate what happened, but thank God everything is OK," said Leal.

We asked his little girl if she was OK. She answered, "Thank you, yeah."

Parents were called and had picked up their children including the young girl with braces on her legs by after noon.

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