collapsed church

The St Thomas Spiritual Baptist Church collapsed on Tuesday. It was earmarked for demolition

AN abandoned church at Laventille collapsed on Tuesday after several hours of heavy rain showers. 

The St Thomas Spiritual Baptist Church, also known as ‘Taffy’s Church’, at Laventille Road, gave way around 8 a.m.

No one was injured, and but there was ‘light’ damage to a building next door to the old church, said deputy Mayor of Port-of-Spain and local government councillor Hillan Morean who was at the site with workers and equipment from the Port-of-Spain City Corporation.

Morean told Express that that the church was earmarked for demolition in 2017, when the National Clean-up Campaign was then launched by Minister of Local Government Kazim Hosein.

The councillor said that the owners of the church had financial difficulties for the demolition exercise, and the corporation got commitment from the Laing group of companies to assist in the safe demolition, but the exercise was not completed.

Morean said, “The church that was abandoned for decades, so it’s been a while that we have been trying to get this down, but it’s down now. Apart from some light damage to a property next door, there were no other damages.

No one was injured.

When the Express spoke to Morean around 10.30 a.m. he said as the rubble was being cleared at Laventille Road, the road before Desperlie Crescent was blocked to accommodate the equipment involved in the clean-up exercise but would be reopened within the hour.

He said he had contacted the Laing company to engage their assistance to clear the rest of the rubble.

“The church was abandoned and we were trying to get it down because it was a hazard. Thank God it did not fall in such a manner to cause injury to anyone and their lives.

It’s been raining heavily since early this morning and raining right now. Right now, I am soaked. I am sure this rain here is the straw that broke the camel’s back. There was always a concern that it would come down and that’s why we were trying to help the church out. I guess the weather had its own plans”, he said.


The Covid-19 death toll jumped again yesterday, with five added deaths being reported by the Ministry of Health.

The death toll from the virus now stands at 196.

The latest deaths included one elderly male and one middle-age male, both with co-morbidities; as well as two middle-age males and one middle-age female, without co-morbidities.

Pandemic tears.

Both Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh yesterday confessed to being reduced to tears in the face of their “disappointment” over “the response of the national community to pandemic restrictions” and the tragic consequences that flow from it.

The Government deepened and tightened its containment measures from midnight last night, announcing that with the exception of essential services the country goes into extended lockdown until May 23.

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar has called on the Government to engage all stakeholders to form a united front to fight Covid-19.

“This is a time for humility and not a time for arrogance. The UNC and many stakeholders have been trying to assist since the beginning of this crisis, but the Government has pursued its own way,” Persad-Bissessar stated in a news release yesterday.

A gift of 100,000 vaccines from China will make its way to Trinidad and Tobago from next week, says Health Minister Terrence Deyal­singh.

He added that some 33,600 AstraZeneca vaccines will also be arriving at Piarco on Monday from the COVAX facility.

Speaking yesterday at the Prime Minister’s news conference at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s, Deyalsingh noted that the World Health Organisation (WHO) had given approval to the Sino­pharm vaccine for emergency use.

NATIONAL flags across the country will be flying at half-mast today as former minister of energy and energy industries Franklin Khan is laid to rest.

Khan’s funeral will be held from 10 a.m. at Aramalaya Presbyterian Church in Tunapuna, with only ten people at the service in keeping with Covid-19 regulations.