4 hurt when beam falls during rosary for 18-year-old at funeral home

Dec. 14, 2011 at 6:14 a.m.
Updated Dec. 15, 2011 at 6:15 a.m.

At least four people were injured Wednesday night when a ceiling beam holding light fixtures fell in the main chapel of Rosewood Funeral Chapels.

Around 6:35 p.m., the chapel was full with an estimated 500 to 600 mourners who had gathered for a rosary for Travis Madden, the Inez baseball pitcher for Texas A&M University-Kingsville who died Saturday.

The beam was 25 to 30 feet long and was constructed with 2 inch-by-6 inch and 1-inch-by-6-inch lumber. The beam was not part of the support structure of the building at 3304 East Mockingbird Lane, said Roger Hempel, Victoria Fire Department battalion chief.

Three people struck by the falling beam were taken to local hospitals, he said. One person also suffered injuries, but refused treatment.

Their names were not available Wednesday night.

Kenneth Griffin, 54, of Victoria, said he attempted to brace the beam as it was falling. He suffered an injury on his right hand.

The chapel was evacuated, and the service was moved outdoors.

The chapel was shut down until repairs are made, Hempel said.

Funeral directors declined to comment.



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