SAN ANTONIO – High winds are blamed for a scaffolding collapse Thursday night in downtown San Antonio that damaged a church and crushed numerous cars.
San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood said the winds from a storm that roared through the city around 9:30 p.m. toppled a 100-foot section of scaffolding onto the 300 block of Martin Street. Crews are still working Friday morning to remove the scaffolding from the street.
CPS Energy crews at the scene told KSAT12 Friday morning that they had to cut the power to the area before crews began to break down the debris.
A crew member said that there are two lamps underneath the damage, if the power stays on it could charge the metal, which could be dangerous.
Three people were injured after they ran from a bus park bench, Hood said. They suffered minor injuries and were not hit by the scaffolding.
Hood said had the storm hit during the day, more people could have been injured.
"If it would have been rush hour, it would have been a lot worse," he said.
Hood said St. Mark's Episcopal Church was damaged by the scaffolding. He said it didn't appear anyone was in the church or the crushed cars.
"We will continue to assess damage, but until the city clears the building, we will be closed," said Reverend Beth Knowlton in a statement Friday morning. "The chiller has been crushed so we will not have AC for the foreseeable future. There is roof and water damage throughout the parish house. We will report more in the next 24 hours to assess our schedule for the weekend."
Here's a look at what the downtown scaffolding collapse looks like this afternoon. This cleanup is going to take awhile. Latest: https://www.ksat.com/weather/large-scaffolding-collapses-downtown-high-winds-blamedPosted by KSAT Deven Clarke on Friday, September 20, 2019
"While this is upsetting, I give thanks to God that no one was hurt. This is an important reminder that a church is always more than a building," Knowlton said.
Roy Perez said he had just gotten out of work at Cafe Ole on the River Walk, when he was walking to his car and couldn't believe what he saw -- a portion of his Honda Civic crushed underneath the scaffolding.
"I thought it was completely smashed," he said. "This is where I park everyday."
The street will remain closed "for quite a while," Hood said. Removing the scaffolding will be a lengthy process.
"They will have to come in and cut with torches. They're going to have to come in with heavy equipment to lift it. They're going to have to put it on trucks to take it out, and then they're going to have to move these cars," Hood said.
WATCH: SAFD Chief Charles Hood talks to reporters about incident
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