Funeral Mourners Injured in Floor Collapse
Collapse: Mourners dropped 15 feet into a cellar when wooden floor boards gave way
Around 25 people were hurt when a floor collapsed at a funeral as mourners surged forward to see the coffin.
About 50 people had packed into a disused corner shop in Birmingham for the ceremony.
But as the coffin, containing a 23-year-old man who had died of leukaemia was brought in, the wooden floor boards gave way and the mourners plunged 15ft into the cellar.
Thirteen people were taken to hospital while a number of others suffered from shock.
Ghazanffar Ali, 35, the uncle of the dead man, said there was sudden surge of people as the coffin was brought in.
"There was no warning, one second the floor was there and then it just disappeared from under us all.
"I just thought to myself, we were here mourning one person and now we will have to mourn some more.
"But luckily no-one was killed.''
Mohammed Shahban, 29, who was one of the first on the scene, said: "I heard lots of screaming and ran into the house to find lots of women in a hole in the floor.
"I tried to get as many out as I could. One looked like she had a broken leg.''
He said about 40 people had fallen into the basement of the house on Lozells Street, in the Handsworth area of the city.
Mark Taylor, West Midlands Fire Service spokesman, said the floor had collapsed due to the number of people who had crammed into the house.
He said: "The building may be being used as a mosque or a meeting room. It was a former corner shop. The floor gave way by sheer weight of numbers.
"It is a fairly unusual thing to have all these people in a cellar of a house.''
He said there were no life-threatening injuries, but added: "It could have been a lot worse. We could have had people killed. We could have had really serious debilitating injuries.''
The injured were taken to hospital with fractures or respiratory problems.
Among the injured were two children who received "relatively minor injuries".
Mr Taylor said fire officers had spent an hour-and-a-half at the property rescuing those inside before conducting a fingertip search to make sure no-one was left trapped under rubble.
The fire service mobilised an urban search and rescue team as part of the operation, which included people who had worked in the aftermath of the Pakistan earthquake.
Acting Inspector Paul Robb, from West Midlands Police, said: "The electricity and gas board have been down here to secure the property and structural engineers are now examining it.
"Another survey of the house will be carried out tomorrow to ensure the property is safe.''
The road was cordoned off while they carried out their checks, he said.
The report says that the floor collapsed when the coffin was brought in. But it doesnt say if the coffin fell through the floor when it gave away.
Please everyone pray for the deceased...
May Allah forgive his sins and show him mercy in his grave and the here-after. Ameen.