Large church wall collapses in Frankford
FRANKFORD - August 16, 2011 (WPVI) -- Investigators are trying to figure out why a huge church wall came crashing down in the Frankford section of Philadelphia.
Nearby residents embraced, saddened by the gaping hole in the Central United Methodist Church.
The wall came crashing down into a pile of rubble Monday night, but neighbors say the façade began to crumble on Saturday.
"Yesterday, it wasn't that bad. Yesterday, the wall wasn't down. Now, looking at it today, if there is a God, it's going to get fixed," resident Virginia Hughes said.
Why the wall gave way is still being investigated.
Heavy rains could have contributed to it.
Engineers were on scene Tuesday evening surveying the damage.
Other areas of the church also appear to be unsecure.
A fence now surrounds the building.
The church has been largely shut down for the past several years, but residents say it would serve as sort of food bank once a week.
"We go in there every Thursday to get food, they help the neighborhood out...it doesn't look like we are going to be able to go in there now," resident David Rahn said.
Frankford Group Ministries owns the building.
Licenses and Inspections cited the group today for an unsafe building and says the owner is cooperating with the department.
"This is our church, we live on this street, this is our church and it's sad, very sad," resident Heather Steward said.
Attempts to contact Frankford Group Ministries have been unsuccessful.
philadelphia, pennsylvania, frankford, collapse, local/state
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