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No one injured when church roof collapses during Mo. ice storm

WEBB CITY, Mo. (BP)–About half a dozen people were inside First Baptist Church in Webb City, Mo., when a large part of the building’s roof collapsed early Jan. 15 following an ice storm, but no one was injured.

“These people were working in the office,” Capt. Steve Welch of the Webb City Fire Department told The Joplin Globe. “They said they heard crackling sounds all morning but just didn’t pay any attention to it. Then they heard it collapse and they ran.”

Welch said the steeple is down and the collapse affected much of the sanctuary area at the south end of the church, The Globe reported.

First Baptist Webb City, with more than 1,000 members, was the victim of a powerful winter storm that killed at least 36 people in six states by Monday and left about 330,000 homes and businesses in Missouri without electricity, the Associated Press said.

The storm system delivered freezing rain, sleet and snow that covered roads and brought down power lines from Texas to Maine as it moved northward. Gov. Matt Blunt declared a state of emergency in Missouri and activated the National Guard.

In Oklahoma, seven Mexican residents were killed when their minivan struck an oncoming truck on an icy highway on Sunday.

More than 400 flights were canceled at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport Jan. 14 because of the storm, AP reported.

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