Termite Damaged Floorboards In A Louisiana Church Collapsed During A Funeral, Injuring Several Grieving Victims

While the annual economic cost of termite damage in the United States may come as a shock to many Americans, those who live in the southeast US have no problem believing that these wood-devouring creatures cost billions of dollars in damage and control costs each year. This is especially true for residents of Louisiana, where the Formosan subterranean termite seems to wreak more and more havoc in the state with each passing year. Although Formosan subterranean termite colonies have been found in each of the Gulf Coast states, Louisiana sees the greatest degree of destruction from this invasive termite species. Back in 2011, experts estimated the annual cost of Formosan subterranean termite damage in the United States to exceed one billion dollars per year, 500 million of which was attributed to Formosan termite damage in the state of Louisiana alone. The most tragic aspect of Louisiana’s Formosan termite problem is the damage that historical structures in the state sustain from this termite species’ activity. For example, last year a historically significant church in the city of Hammond was nearly destroyed by a Formosan termite infestation. Unfortunately, the extent of the damage to the church was not noticed until the floor tragically collapsed during a funeral. This accident caused several guests at the funeral to fall through the floor, resulting in numerous injuries.

This accident occured at the Greater St. James AME Church just as mourning loved ones of a deceased individual had entered the church. Once the loved ones of Carl Weary entered the church in order to attend his funeral, the structure’s beams broke under their weight. One funeral guest claimed that the floor collapsed immediately due to years of termite infested conditions that had long been neglected. As a result of this collapse, two dozen funeral guests had to be rescued, several of whom had sustained injuries in the collapse. Many locals are hoping to see the church restored to its original state.

Do you believe that homeowners who fall victim to termite infestations consider the possibility of their home collapsing as a result?


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