UPDATE One dead, one trapped in Florida parking garage collapseMIAMI (AP) — A section of a parking garage under construction at a community college collapsed Wednesday, killing one worker and trapping at least two others in the rubble, officials said. One of the workers was rescued, but there was too much debris around the other to immediately get him out.
By: SUZETTE LABOY,Associated Press, Associated Press
MIAMI (AP) — A section of a parking garage under construction at a community college collapsed Wednesday, killing one worker and trapping at least two others in the rubble, officials said. One of the workers was rescued, but there was too much debris around the other to immediately get him out.
Several other workers were hurt when the roof of the five-story concrete garage fell, creating a pancake-style collapse on the campus of Miami-Dade College, officials said.
"It was a floor upon floor, collapsing all the way down to the ground floor," Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Capt. Louie Fernandez said.
The trapped worker was getting oxygen and being treated by a physician, but officials did not describe the extent of his injuries. Fernandez said the rescue would be a "long, tedious effort."
Dogs, firefighters and other people in hard hats walked over piles of concrete, plywood and metal rubble to look for other possible victims, but there was no indication anyone else was missing.
Victoria Buczynski of Miami said she saw the collapse while she was working at Gurkha Cigars across the street from the construction site at the Miami-Dade College.
"It fell to the ground like a house of cards," Buczynski said. "The construction workers started running out, screaming. It was loud. Our entire building shook."
No students were in the area at the time. They campus was evacuated after the collapse and closed for the rest of the week. Investigators planned to pick through the rubble to see what caused the garage to crumble.
"We just know that the roof collapsed," Miami-Dade Fire-Rescue spokeswoman Griselle Marino said.
Four workers were taken to the hospital, including one in serious condition, Marino said. Three others were treated by paramedics at the scene.
The worker who was rescued was pulled out from under a steal beam by four firefighters. His face and hands were bloody and he was put on a stretcher and carried away, according to a video shot by Miami-Dade Fire-Rescue and provided to The Associated Press.
The construction site looked like a typical one. A large crane stood beside the pile of rubble. Pickup trucks, trash bins and a tractor-trailer were nearby, as were ladders, a cooler and piles of wood.
Ground was broken on the $22.5 million project in February, and the 1,855-space garage was to be finished in December, according to the website of the contractor, Ajax Building Corp.
The first floor was to have classroom and office space. The structure is next to the college's main office building and nestled among other campus buildings.
The college serves about 8,000 students and is one of several campuses in the Miami-Dade College system. This campus opened in 2006.
An Ajax spokeswoman declined comment and said a company safety crew was en route to the scene.
The identity of the worker who died was not immediately released.