Rescue to recovery, search efforts shift as authorities confirm a second fatality at site of building collapse
LONDON, ONT. -- Authorities confirm that they've shifted from rescue to recovery tonight, as a second person is killed after a wall partially collapsed at a construction site.
Emergency crews responded to 555 Teeple Terrace around 11:40 a.m. after a report of a partial building collapse.
The City of London reports that a fourth-storey wall collapsed, trapping seven workers underneath it.
Video from inside the building provided by a worker shows what appears to be part of multiple floors that have collapsed to the ground.
Javier Caranton, a construction worker in another part of the building describes the chaotic scene, “In one moment— a collapse, it goes down, down.”
Caranton says concrete was being poured on the fourth floor when the collapse occurred.
Kourtney Snell was leaving her home when she witnessed the aftermath.
“I saw about 20 workers running out of the building,” says Snell. “I ended up catching up with one of them, and he said they were pouring concrete inside, and a part of the building had collapsed.”
“The building was a four storey building,” explains Deputy Fire Chief Matt Hepditch. “I’m not sure at what point of construction the building was under. I do know there is a considerable amount of debris.”
Snell adds, the construction worker she spoke with was worried about those trapped inside.
“He said some of his friends were still in the building and he was just shaking.”
Five people were immediately taken to hospital, where one later died. Of the other four, city officials say one was in critical condition, one in serious condition, and two more in fair condition. One person was reportedly also treated at the scene for a minor injury but not taken to hospital.
Crews from the London Fire Department and the Middlesex-London Paramedic Service continued to work through the afternoon to pull two more people from the construction rubble, and private heavy rescue equipment was brought in.
Physicians from LHSC’s Victoria Hospital also arrived in surgical scrubs at 3:30 p.m. to provide assistance with an extraction.
Nearly four hours after the first five people were taken from the scene, an inflatable bag was used to help lift a concrete slab off of one of the two remaining victims inside the building.
With the worker on a intravenous line and paramedics monitoring his condition, the slab was lifted just enough that the man could be freed from the debris. He was then transported to hospital by ambulance. There is no word on his condition.
Meanwhile the London Health Sciences Centre says it has ended a Code Orange put in place earlier in the day, which is called when an event results in a large number of people requiring emergency treatment.
As of Friday evening, emergency crews remained on scene and residents were being asked to avoid the area.
The location is the construction site for a new four-storey condominium, Nest on Wonderland, which was scheduled to be completed by spring/summer 2021.