Building Collapse Injures Two In Evansdale [Gallery]
Two people were injured when a building under construction collapsed in Evansdale Wednesday afternoon (June 24, 2015).
One man, who was trapped under the rubble, was pulled from the debris and placed on a stretcher. A second man who had been standing after the accident was later loaded into another ambulance. Both victims were taken to a local hospital for treatment of what officials called non life-threatening injuries.
Evansdale Police Chief Jeff Jensen described the injuries to one of the victims as "serious".
"When everything came down, there were three scissor hoists and fortunately the wood fell on those, so it didn't crush the guy underneath," Jensen explained. "It's a very, very lucky situation."
The accident happened around 2 p.m. at the corner of Gilbert Drive and River Forest Road, the site where a new Kwik Star convenience store is being built.
"We were paged for a building collapse, initially, with multiple people trapped or injured," said Justin Smock, assistant chief of Evansdale Fire Rescue. "Luckily, upon arrival, we found a much tamer situation."
What emergency crews discovered was that the building's frame work had collapsed, and at least one man was trapped under the rubble.
"It sounds like they were working on a ladder or something higher up than that, and in order to escape further injury, they had to jump off of it," Smock said. "That jump, being higher up, did cause some injury."
Jeff Kobliska, a mechanic at Advanced Auto Service across the street, was working on a vehicle when the mishap occurred.
"I heard timber crackling, boards breaking," he said. "I looked out the overhead doors and saw all the rafters fall like dominos, one right after the other. Guys in bright yellow shirts were flying in the air and falling. The one guy was under those rafters quite a while until the paramedics got him out of there."
Kobliska said the man pulled from the debris was laying on his back talking and saying he was OK.
Advanced Auto Service owner Eric Schmiesing was also working in the service garage and witnessed the accident.
"I heard a loud crack, looked across and I saw all the rafters start falling one by one," Schmiesing said. "One guy was on a scissors lift and he rode it all the way down and jumped off at the very end. It happened so quick."
Jensen said officials don't yet know what caused the collapse. The identities of the injured men aren't known at this time.
Construction on the Kwik Star site began in mid-April. A company official said then that the projected opening date for the new convenience store was late July or mid-August.