Lacy Landrum, director of administration for the city of Hammond, told the Daily Star that nearly a dozen people had to be rescued. Several of them suffered minor injuries, and two mourners had to be taken by ambulance to a hospital.
According to a website belonging to the Greater St. James Historic Preservations, the church was established in 1867 as a branch of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and was the first black church in Hammond. The current church was completed in 1926.
NOLA.com reported that the church has been shut down by the city since Saturday's accident.