SAO PAULO, Brazil – The roof of a Brazilian church caved in shortly after a religious service on Sunday, killing 7 people and injuring dozens more.
About 60 people were inside when the roof fell to the floor, Reborn in Christ church spokeswoman Marli Goncalves told The Associated Press.
Sao Paulo state Gov. Jose Serra, who visited the site, said the toll was seven dead and 57 people injured. He did not elaborate on their condition.
Goncalves said earlier that at least six people were severely hurt, while local media reported eight people in serious condition.
Police and rescuers picked through a latticework of bent steel splayed across the floor of the evangelical church, housed in a former movie theater. Police helicopters carried the injured to hospitals.
Goncalves said the church, which can hold 2,000 worshippers and is usually crowded on Sundays, was relatively empty at the time of the collapse because it happened between two services.
As many as 1,000 people would likely have been inside just minutes before or after, she said.
The church on Sao Paulo's south side is where soccer star Kaka was married in 2005.
Reborn in Christ church leaders Estevam Hernandes Filho and Sonia Haddad Moraes Hernandes pleaded guilty in 2007 to smuggling more than $5,600 into the United States hidden in their luggage.