Crane collapses at Washington's National Cathedral
A 500-ton crane collapsed at the Washington National Cathedral on Wednesday
September 7th, 2011
03:52 PM ET

Crane collapses at Washington's National Cathedral

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Washington (CNN)– A 500-ton crane collapsed at Washington's National Cathedral Wednesday morning, crushing several cars in a nearby parking lot and sending one person to the hospital, officials said.

The crane was working on the south side of the cathedral to stabilize debris on the central tower, the Cathedral administration said in a statement. Heavy rain was coming down when the crane fell around 10:55 a.m. in a parking lot adjacent to the cathedral, smashing cars and damaging another building on the grounds.

One person was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries as a result of the crane crash, authorities said.

"My understanding is they were lifting materials to the roof to repair damages that were caused by the earthquake," said Fire Battalion Chief John Donnelly of the District of Columbia Fire and EMS Department.

A 5.9-magnitude earthquake hit the region August 23, causing millions of dollars of damage to the cathedral. Last week, Hurricane Irene blew down an enormous oak tree in front of the cathedral, causing minor damage.

The cathedral is planning to repair earthquake damage in time to reopen this weekend, when it will host a variety of events marking the tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks, including a Sunday event that will be attended by President Barack Obama.

When the crane fell it struck the Herb Cottage, a small building that sells plants, cards, and teas next to the cathedral and the Episcopal House, the Washington diocesan offices. The cottage had a hole in the roof and heavy damage to an exterior wall.

"I thought it was another thunderstorm," Father Simon Bautista said. He was on a conference call inside the Episcopal house when the crane fell.

"My office started shaking a bit but I did not have a clue that something like this had happened so close to me. This side of the church house, I would say, just missed it by inches," he said gesturing to his office.

–CNN's Laura Bernardini contributed to this report

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Church • Episcopal • Houses of worship

soundoff (138 Responses)
  1. Anas

    My beloved faimly in India my name is Pierina and my husband is Philip, we belong to the faimly of Kingdom Ministries Bendigo.Oh how i rejoice within me that the nation of India has been captured by our God and that He has chosen you dear Pearson and Suganthy to be one of the firstfruits of Gods kingdom in India.I am grateful and joyfully read your email and watched the video through the internet. What a wonderful way to see faimly abroad.The Sovereign Lord has truly shown His justice and righteousness to the nation of India that His Glory may be shown forth. INDIA DOES BELONG TO JESUS.Our Love and blessings to you dear faimly 'And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.' (2 Corinthians 9:8) Philip and Pierina

    July 29, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
  2. Muneef

    I still say corruptors on this planet are although called Businessmen but they are as equal as terrorists and threatening the lives of more people or life on earth even more than terrorists...but how come we have not seen those repent and oppologise ?

    Our oceans are being decimated – deep-sea trawlers are clear-cutting our ocean floors leaving vast wastelands. A crucial UN fisheries meeting is happening in 48 hours – and it could be the turning point in the fight against senseless ocean destruction, but only if enough of us speak out now. Sign and forward to everyone: 

    To members of the UN General Assembly:
    As concerned global citizens, we call on you immediately to implement and enforce your obligations to the UN resolutions on fishing and work to ban the destructive practice of deep-sea bottom-fishing. We urge you to usher in a new era of accountability and commitment to our injured oceans by steadfastly holding other nations to their promises to protect oceans and curb devastation.

    Strange though nothing mentioned about off shore drilling and the pollutions that result to ocean lives deaths and extinctions and much as those fishermen!!?

    September 14, 2011 at 9:16 pm |
  3. McJesus

    First god cracks the Church with an earthquake, then makes the crane collapse. Ok people. Don't you get the point already? Demolish the damn building and replace it with a Theme Park for Jonah and the Sea Serpent.

    September 13, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
  4. Muneef

    Millions of Russian Muslims are celebrating Eid ul-Fitr on Tuesday, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
    In Moscow mosques were not able to accommodate all worshippers, so people poured into streets and lanes.
    The solution has been to allow the people to pray right outside in the street, despite the disapproval of some residents.


    September 13, 2011 at 7:14 am |
  5. Muneef

    A Bedouin was asked,"How do you know your Lord?"

    The Bedouin could only reply with (The Example of) that which was before him, so he said, " Droppings tell of a Camel, Foot-Prints tell of a Traveler. The Sky, The Earth with Mountain Passes, Seas with Waves- Do they not tell of the All-Hearer, The All Seer?".

    September 12, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      " Droppings tell of a Camel, Foot-Prints tell of a Traveler. The Sky, The Earth with Mountain Passes, Seas with Waves- Do they not tell of the All-Hearer, The All Seer?".

      What profound wisdom lies in those words ! ! !

      September 12, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
    • Muneef

      PRISM 1234.

      It is like saying there is not smoke with out fire, like sighting a droppings and trail of foot prints you would realize that a camel and passenger passed the desert then the seeing of the greatness of the mountains and passages through them,the seas great waves the skies it helps to realize the existence of super power "GOD" above all...any way it is like the verses written in the Quran "GOD"Allah speaking about how he had created earth to man by the mountains,seas and rain from skies which brings life to earth.. Bedouins are supposed to be as Gypsies in mentality and the Quran came to speak to such small mentalities to realize the greatness of the creation, therefore had to speak in their mentality although in it's simplicity it contains facts to the highest levels of mentalities...

      September 14, 2011 at 9:15 pm |
  6. kimsland

    If that was done on purpose, please do it again to every church
    If we can't ask them to intelligently to realize there is no god, then just start destroying their religious headquarters, ie churches.

    I feel sad about anyone that was hurt, but if you're near a church you're asking for trouble.

    September 10, 2011 at 1:46 am |
  7. CSX

    Get them God......Get them!

    September 9, 2011 at 11:32 pm |
  8. Carla

    Prism1234, Amen. Thank you for your sharing. God bless you.

    September 9, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      God bless you too, Carla!

      September 9, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • McJesus

      Cool, granted +1 to armor class, protection vs evil, and saving throws. You must be a level 4 Cleric of Odin. Am I correct?

      September 13, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  9. PRISM 1234

    Built on the Rock the Church does stand, even when the steeples ar falling.
    Crumbled have spires in every land, but bells still are chiming and calling....
    Calling the young and old to res, calling the souls in sin distressed,
    calling to life everlasting
    * * *
    Not in the temples built with stones God the Almighty is dwelling
    High in the Heavens His Temple stands, all earthly temples excelling.....
    Yet , He who dwells in Heavens above, comes and abides with us in love,
    making our bodies His temples.
    * * *
    We are God's house of living stones, made for His habitation.
    He makes our hearts His humble thrones, giving us life and salvation
    Where two or there should seek His face, He comes and dwells with them in grace
    blessings upon them bestowing.
    * * *
    Built on the Rock the Church shall stand, though earthly temples be closing
    silenced are voices of evil men, but God's voice still is calling...
    Calling the young and old to rest, calling the souls in darkness to Himself,
    calling to life everlasting!
    Those words were wrritten by a man living in 18 century . They echo the truth written in them just the same today, centuries later, and will echo the same, if time goes on – till the sun darkenes and the moon is no more, and till all the stars of the heavens lose their light...

    Jesus said "I will build MY Church, and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it"

    His true Church, the one without the earthly Temple will stand, because it was NOT built by human hands, nor earthly elements....

    Those who KNOW our God will understand, but those who are in darkness will stumble over every word of it...

    September 9, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
  10. Carla

    @Muneef: Americans need humility before the Creator God for sure in con-side-ration of how the nation was birthed and developed. Too many of them blaspheme. And they burn churches in celebrating their stupid Halloween on a planet of numerous suffering human population. Americans need to be saved from their own entertainment. Some Americans are an insult to the real suffering people, though there are many good Christian Americans.

    September 9, 2011 at 3:04 am |
    • Muneef

      They say; "too much freedom spoil the child"... Too much freedom was given to every thing that was considered sinful to grow destroying the goodness of the people and self respect...
      Those ill freedoms has caused the American Eagle to descend faster than it ascended... It is sad really to see that but you can not continue to love or admire those who do not feel the same way towards you nor being just to your rightful cases...

      So as it seems America and Europe after have exhausted their wealth in their fantasies are now giving a chance for a new power to emerge and I wonder which it will be if not China?

      September 9, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • Carla

      Yes, Muneef. But after a nation like USA, what future could there be? China has no tradition of being a good guy for all. Only God knows the future. It's heart-breaking to see what become of the non-religious American whites. They had such good parents, you know... Muneef, please read the Gospels and get to know Isa al Masih. I pray for you.

      September 9, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      America's downfall is in her pride and arrogance, in which she has declared her independence from God of her forefathers who honored Him... Someone who I greatly admire in Christian ministry, who is one among the few having still true faith and honor, said this: "When a country , i.e. it's leadership and its people , reject the great light from God they have been given, and they go back on it, He gives it's leaders and it's people minds that can not think, even in their own best interest. And everything they produce will be thorns and thistles." That's where America is today, friend!

      By the way, I'm glad to see you, Muneef...Keep you head high in this uncertain world, always looking up, vertically UP, and NOT horizontally, to any man! THAT"S where you will find your answers and your true liberty 🙂

      September 9, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • Muneef


      Dear friend I fully respect your wiseness and knowledge...and find in your words some thing as a coolant to the heart...we look upon GOD only and as they say; "See the Horizontal to Recognize the Vertical" ...doesn't that make it look like the cross...;)

      September 9, 2011 at 9:45 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      Muneef, dear friend, the words you write also touch me in a special way, because I can sense the spirit in which you write them. I know we're world apart and differ in some important things, but it is God's Spirit that does the work in our hearts to seek Him, to lead us to Him, and to recognise His voice..... You are right in saying the horizontal and vertical make a cross. But in my faith I know that in order to see my brother, I must first see, know,and have relationship with my Father through Christ who provided my reconciliation to Him
      I have some beautiful verses I want to share with you, Muneef, out of my Scriptures... Ther is a hidden treasure in them, but only to those whose hearts are seeking. I think you well see....

      "For it is God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give light of the knowledge of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God an not of us" (2 Corinthians )

      But we...with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory , just as by the Spirit of the Lord....looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God" 2Corinthians 3, Hebrews12)

      " For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
      Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen."(Ephesians 3)

      You see, friend, that's why I know we must look up vertically first, fixing the eyes of our hearts on the LORD, in order to have His image imprinted on our faces, through beholding Him, who He is. That's how He
      has designed it, in order to truly know Him. That's what I mean when I say, look to God, fix your eyes on Him. There is no place in this world , not even in the darkest dungeon where a man may rot forsaken , where God can not shine the glory of His countenance on Him. Even the dungeon ceases to be hell on earth when God's light shines on him, and His presence envelopes him... That's what happens to many people when they get to the bottom of the "pit" when they can't fall no more, and only dim ray of hope is all they see. God is nearest to us when we're broken and have come to the end ouf ourselves.....Then He says to us, when your mother and your father forsake you, I the Lord will lift you up..(Ps. 27)
      I hope you know as well the intent of my posts to you. We are here to share, and plant seeds of kindness. The Lord is the One who gives the life our words, in our hearts, and by His Spirit takes them and roots them , making our hearts His vineyard to bear fruit for Him!
      It's late here now, and tommorrow is our special day of gathering to celebrate the love of our God andf give Him praise with hearts united in faith and love.
      I hope and pray also that you and all those you love will have a blessed and peaceful day.

      September 10, 2011 at 11:58 pm |
    • Muneef

      PRISM 1234.

      Dear friend that was beautiful wise full of light but will have to read it more to see the inner meanings of it...
      We look vertically as did Abraham looking for the Creator... While the Creator in the Quran told us that our means of subsistence and what we await are in heavens... But as well told us that if we disbelieve on what the Holy Books and the Quran came with we ought to look Horizontally as in Archeology for the nations that been mentioned and how the died for their sins and disbelief to the message or for humiliating the messengers...

      Any way thank you dear for sharing your treasures with me...

      September 11, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
    • Muneef

      Hope as well might you find some useful thoughts by reading following PDF.

      September 11, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Do you celebrate Halloween in church? Oh, yes, the Eve of All Holies – the Hallowed Eve. The night the dead walk the Earth. Yes, THAT's not scary or anything! So, where did this holiday originate? Ah, yes, the church! The same church that's trying to quash the practice. Coming back from the dead? Oh, yes, that creepy "resurrection" stuff. Make up your minds!

      September 11, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Let's carry on with this line of thinking. Witches, where did they originate? In the US, that would be New England, where in Salem, there were "trials" conducted by the Puritans, based upon the lies told by little girls. Weren't the Puritans the forefathers of the Evangelicals? Interesting.

      September 11, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      Thank you also for what you posted, I went to the link you posted, by with my PC couldn't get it to work right , the print would not magnify... I read some of it, and I'll try another time when I can get someone here to check it out. I do understand where you are coming from, Muneef. God also knows where your heart is, and I'm glad you feel that you can share it with me here. I want you to know that in me you do have a caring friend, and it will always be so. I remember my promise to pray for you and your countrymen. This is the love of God that is poured into our hearts, toward one another. This is what Christ came to this world for.

      Blessings to you and your loved ones.

      September 11, 2011 at 9:39 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      no we don't celebrate "Halloween". We don't dig up the bones of "heretics" either the way some did in the Dark Ages who held grip on the people, ruled over them by fear, and claimed they had authority of God, holding keys to heaven or hell in their possession, making people hostages by their lies...
      I think you have a lots of things mixed up in your mind friend! I don't really care what strange practices anyone did or for that matter, even how they do them today.... They don't effect reality of God ,who He is, His standard of righteousness, His truth, and my relationship with Him....
      Man has always perverted the truth, ever since the first time he fell for a lie... it's in human nature, or better said it's a human disease we're born with, till God does His work in our lives, if we allow Him...
      . There were many evil things done in the Name of Jesus Christ, but it is not really to be as surprise, becaue Jesus said that the evil one, which is the devil, will plant his seeds in the midst of God's church, meaning here "The Christendom". But God knows His own, He knows the wheat from the tares

      So when you use your post as a bashing tool against God's people, and mock Christ's resurection from the dead as a comparison to creepy, ungodly, demonic "Halloween" practices, you only show your immaturity in putting your foot in your mouth about things you know nothing about, and your words are of no more value then empty, silly ranting.

      September 11, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
    • Muneef

      PRISM 1234.

      Thank you for your kindness and will always keep in my considerations your friendship, about the link I would really wish you read all as my self reading it with interest for it's inspirations I get from reading it... Take care friend and thank you for the best wish's towards our country and people at such difficult political times that we are passing through... GOD Bless You and those who are as You.

      September 12, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      Thank you, Muneef, and I will get to read it, if unable able by link you gave, I'll find it somewhere else, by name of the book that you gave.
      Take care, my friend. 🙂

      September 12, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
  11. Mad Cow

    I really like the news article where lightning destroys the six story high plastic Jesus.

    September 9, 2011 at 2:27 am |
    • @Mad Cow

      That's why you are mad.

      September 9, 2011 at 3:05 am |
    • Muneef

      Poor guy this disease has spread like fire here and there in America that's why much misjudgments are noticed has driven the country to it's kneels financially and politically ...!
      Any way he either eats to much cattle meat or he works in a butchery house...!

      September 9, 2011 at 10:59 pm |
    • The Further Adventures of No No Bad Dog

      This one? Check it out. Great pics of Flaming Jesus, The God Who Fried Himself With His Own Lightning Bolt.


      September 9, 2011 at 11:11 pm |
    • Carla

      Blasphemers will burn in hell because that's what they want for life.

      September 10, 2011 at 1:22 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.