Lightning bolt knocks off piece of Winnipeg church

WINNIPEG – A lightning strike Friday morning knocked off a chunk of the stone bell tower atop Winnipeg’s stately Knox United Church, sending it crashing about 25 metres to the street below.

No one was injured, according to the fire department.

The boulder-like chunk, measuring more than one metre in diameter, slammed down onto the front steps of the church, then caromed into the street, narrowly missing vehicles.

The steps of the historic church were badly damaged.

There was no one inside Knox United at the time of the bizarre incident; however, a day care nearby was evacuated as a precaution.

"A spire came crashing down. Apparently it got hit by lightning and came crashing down," said Pastor Bill Millar of Knox United. "In the end, it’s a building . . . nobody was hurt."

Knox United is one of the city’s oldest places of worship and has been designated a Manitoba heritage site. It was constructed between 1914 and 1918.

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