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Police: Church collapse in Nepal kills 24

A church dormitory collapsed today in eastern Nepal after attendees at a Christian conference went to sleep on its roof, killing at least 24 people and injuring an additional 62, police and church officials said.

The people had gathered in the eastern town of Dharan on Monday for the weeklong conference, and many chose to sleep on top of a church extension made of bamboo and tin roofing because it was cooler there, church official Moses Rai said.

The additional weight on the dormitory caused the roof to collapse on top of people sleeping below, Rai said.

Among the 24 killed were 17 women and four children, police official Arjun Khadka said. The 62 injured were taken to the nearby B.P. Koirala medical college hospital, he said.

Khadka said police were still investigating the incident in Dharan, some 240 miles (400 kilometers) southeast of the capital, Katmandu.

Some 1,500 Christians, who are a minority in predominantly Hindu Nepal, had gathered in Dharan from throughout the country for the conference, which coincides with the Hindu holiday Daisain, when schools and offices are closed for almost two weeks.

All of the dead were Nepalese nationals, police said.


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