Rescue efforts are still underway to find survivors of a devastating roof collapse at a church in Mexico during a baptism service on Sunday afternoon.
Authorities say that communion was being served at the Church of the Holy Cross in Ciudad Madero, a city on the Gulf coast near the port of Tampico, when the incident occurred.
Bishop Jose Armando Alvarez from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tampico asked the public to pray for those affected. "In this moment the necessary work is being carried out to pull out the people who are still under the rubble," he said in a video posted to social media.
Military personnel and local emergency crews have been working throughout the evening searching for survivors.
At least three children are believed to be among the dead. That includes an infant who was being baptized during the Mass.
Some survivors have been pulled out already. "From underneath the rubble, thanks to Divine Providence and the work of rescue teams, people have been pulled out alive! Let's keep praying," Alvarez said in an update.
Video footage from a neighbouring building shows the moment the roof collapsed. People rushed to the scene and local businesses have loaned equipment to help move rubble.
Mexican reporter Tomás Briones posted video to X showing the aftermath as people scrambled to help.
El techo de la iglesia de la Santa Cruz, ubicada en #CdMadero, colapsó mientras se oficiaba una misa, esta tarde.— Tomás Briones (@tomasbriones) October 1, 2023
Varias personas seguían buscando en los escombros a familiares que quedaron atrapados.#Tampico #Tamaulipas #Reynosa #NuevoLaredo #Matamoros @diocesistampico pic.twitter.com/L4AAnvqSpp