Children OK But In Tears After Daycare Collapse

By: Chris Oberholtz
By: Chris Oberholtz

Kansas City, MO (KCTV) -- Children inside a daycare were shaken but OK after a church building partially collapsed Thursday morning.

A fire department spokesman said all adults and children inside the building have been accounted for after the collapse about 10:30 a.m.

Children inside the three-story building when it collapsed were attending a day camp.

Parents rushed to get their children to safety after fire crews pulled everyone from Rios De Agua Viva Church at Independence Avenue and Benton Boulevard, which is in Northeast Kansas City. Parents first arriving on the scene were crying and hugging their children after reuniting with them.

"There was a lot of kids, and they rushed out of the building. They were like sad and scared at the same time. I was scared and sad because I didn't know what was happening," said 11-year-old Daniel Vanueous.

He said he was on the computer when the rumble occurred.

"I just saw it all fall," he said, adding he was scared. "I'm just glad everyone is OK."

Witnesses also described police officers and firefighters helping upset children.

If parents want to inquire about their child, the church contact is Herminio Leal at 816-309-0938. The pickup point for parents to respond is Independence Boulevard Christian Church located at 606 Gladstone Blvd.

The collapse has also affected an adjacent apartment building. Residents have been ordered to evacuate and have been told that the unstable building likely will have to be torn down later today.

The collapse happened at Rios De Agua Viva Church, which was once home to the Benton Theatre. The building opened in 1931. It was one of the many Kansas City theatres that were designed by the Boller Brothers.

The architectural firm based in Kansas City specialized in theater design in the Midwest of the during the first half of the 20th century.

The theatre closed in 1952.


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