'Pray for Harder and Martens families': Victims of building collapse identified
LONDON, ONT. -- The body of a man who had been trapped following a building collapse in London, Ont. was recovered late Saturday night.
Emergency responders have confirmed that recovery efforts at 555 Teeple Terrace are complete.
London police say the body of the man who had been trapped during the partial collapse was recovered just before midnight on Saturday. Emergency crews confirm the trapped man was deceased.
Police say the recovery was a coordinated effort involving London Police Service, London Fire Department, Middlesex-London Paramedic Service and the City of London. As well, a private demolition company was contracted to support the work.
Initial recovery efforts began late Friday afternoon but were paused until Saturday morning due to structural risks.
The site will remain secured as an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the collapse continues.
Portions of the building were carefully dismantled until structure was stable enough for the recovery efforts to resume without putting workers at risk.
The victims have been identified by Lighthouse Gospel Church in Port Burwell as Henry Harder from Springfield Ont., and John Martens from Glen Meyer Ont.
"We are asking all of you to pray for the Harder and Martens families," the church said in a Facebook post.
"This is a devastating loss to both of these families. They will need your support of many of you in the coming days, weeks and months."
The church will be hosting funeral services for Harder on Tuesday, and Martens later in the week.
Multiple GoFundMe pages have been set up for the two workers and have already well surpassed their initial goals in just one day.
Roads in the area, including Wonderland Road in both directions and Teeple Terrace, were also closed to protect the surrounding community while recovery efforts were underway.
Wonderland Road is now open.
Just before noon on Friday, part of the four-storey building that is under construction on this site collapsed, sending five people to hospital. Of those five people transported to hospital on Friday, one is deceased. Out of respect for privacy for the individuals and their families, no additional information about their injuries or their identities will be provided.