Collapse of a religious building in the Gers

A tower adjoining the church in the village of Saramon, in the Gers, collapsed on Thursday, we learned from the mayor of the village, who had reported cracks, probably linked to drought.

The Saint-Victor tower, dating from the 11th century, leaning against the bedside of the Saint-Pierre church, gave way around 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, without causing any casualties.

“A church tower collapsed, it had been showing signs of fragility for a few days. On Monday, a security perimeter was established by the firefighters. This (Thursday) morning, suddenly, it collapsed. collapsed,” said a spokesman for the Gers Departmental Fire and Rescue Service (SDIS).

Thursday, firefighters were busy extracting statues and paintings from the church, and checking the strength of the walls adjoining the tower.

The mayor of the town of 800 inhabitants, Eric Balducci, had reported cracks at the end of February and reinforcement work was planned on the buttresses of the tower.

“The drought certainly played a role, the expert will tell us. We have submitted a request for recognition of a natural disaster for the drought of 2022, we have cracks all over the village, especially in the old houses”, a said the mayor to AFP.

Only material damage was noted on roofs and parked cars.