Church roof investigation may take months
    February 23 2010 by Dianna L. Cagle, BR Assistant Managing Editor

    It may be months before investigators determine the cause of roof trusses collapsing Feb. 18 at Mount Vernon Baptist Church in Clinton.

    The incident killed one construction worker and put two others in the hospital.

    “There’s just a lot of speculation as to what went wrong,” said Tony Rackley, chairman of the church’s board of deacons. “It’s too early to tell. Any time you’re doing a building project and there’s loss of life it’s sad.”

    Rackley addressed the church Feb. 21 during the worship service. There was special prayer time for the two injured men and the family who lost a loved one.

    “They’ve given the contractors the green light to get in there and clear the trusses out,” Rackley said Feb. 22 in a phone interview.

    The new structure will include a sanctuary, pastor’s study and several rooms that will be designated later.

    When it is complete it will be connected to the other buildings on the church’s campus.

    The area that collapsed is where the cathedral ceiling is, Rackley said.

    The trusses on the flat ceiling part were not damaged, but there was some minor exterior wall damage. The building and planning committee wants to do something permanent to recognize the loss of life at the facility. Rackley said it will most likely be a plaque.

    “If I could choose a cause to this I would pick the wind and move on,” Rackley said, indicating the incident has been tough for all involved. “Your heart goes out to all of them.”

    Rackley praised Clifton Halso, the general contractor on the project, for his “50 years of impeccable service. It’s very unfortunate for his company.”

    Halso slipped into the church over the weekend and left an envelope at the church. Halso made a donation with a note thanking “the church for everybody being so nice and for understanding,” Rackley said.

    Rackley said the goal is to finish building before the church’s 100th anniversary in October. He’s thankful for all the support.

    “I know just as soon as it happened I began to get calls from area churches offering” to help, he said.
    2/23/2010 9:16:00 AM by Dianna L. Cagle, BR Assistant Managing Editor | with 0 comments

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