Anxious moments followed by rush of relief for parents who had children inside collapsed building

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Parents were hugging their kids a bit tighter Thursday after picking them up at a nearby church following a building collapse while vacation bible school was ongoing. They said there's nothing worse than hearing news of a building collapsing with your children inside.

"I was scared because my four kids, and my wife inside!" said Ruben Mijares, one of many parents horrified to hear the news that the Rios De Agua Viva church collapsed while their children were inside for vacation bible school.

"I see the corners closed off, and it was very hard for me," Mijares said.

Kids were taken to a nearby church to wait for family to pick them up. Tears of relief were shed with thankful hugs and kisses also abounding.

"Most of the adults were freaking out, we were just trying to get all the kids out," said 18-year-old Abigail Arambule, who was working inside the church at the time it collapsed.

"We were working on pinatas, making some pinatas, and the little kids were in a room, the bigger kids were where the actual stuff happened, and we just heard a big noise," Arambule added. "A person came in and the little rooms and told us to start running downstairs and outside, and we all just ran."

She says she's thankful everyone got out safely, but it hurts to see the building go down.

"I got really sad because I've been there for like nine years or more," said Arambule.

Julio Leal hugged his daughter who was inside when the building collapsed. He received a phone call from his dad about the news.

"Once he told me that building, the back-end had collapsed, I was a little worried, but when he told me that everybody was safe it took a lot of stress off," said Leal.

Parents are relieved to know everyone is safe and sound.

"My daughter is safe, my son is not here today, he stayed home, but everybody is safe so I'm very thankful for that," Leal said.

"Very happy, and you know, I see my wife and my kids, and I thank you Jesus!" said Mijares.

All children and adults that were inside the building are accounted for and safe. Building inspectors tell us it's likely they will have to tear the building down.



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