According to authorities, the death toll from the collapsed
interstate bridge in Minneapolis is four and up to 30 are still
missing. There are three Seventh-day Adventist conference offices
(Central States, Lake Region, and Minnesota as well as their
governing office, the Mid-America Union) that have members in the
Kymone Hinds, communication director of the Central States Conference,
which includes Minneapolis, has been in contact with local Adventist lay
leaders and it appears that no Seventh-day Adventist members have been
directly involved with this tragedy.
Ray Young, communication director of the Lake region Conference,
which also has members in the Minneapolis and St. Paul areas,
has not heard of any Seventh-day Adventist members involved in
Claudio Consuegra, Minnesota Conference communication director,
has contacted Minneapolis city officials regarding disaster response.
He belongs to the Metro Critical Incident Stress Management Team,
which is preparing to deploy on behalf of rescue and recovery personnel.
Consuegra, a law enforcement chaplain and family life counselor, has
had extensive training in crisis defusing and debriefing. Tom Lemon,
Minnesota Conference president adds: "I am in the process of assessing
the impact this may have had on our churches."
Gaylord Hanson, Adventist Community Services Disaster Response
director for the Mid-America Union, is coordinating with Minnesota
Conference officials regarding denominational services and resources
and is standing by if needed by civic leaders.
"Mid-America Adventists are praying for the people of Minneapolis
regarding this tragedy and have offered our denominational services to
help in any way needed," said Dennis N. Carlson, president of the Mid-America
Union. "As a former president of the Minnesota Conference, I have driven many
times over the bridge that fell and can only imagine the trauma of the survivors
and the relatives of those who are deceased and missing."