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Three Confirmed Dead, More Missing After Doral Parking Garage Collapse

A Doral parking garage collapsed yesterday afternoon, killing at least three men and leaving many others trapped in the rubble. Samuel Perez was found in the rubble around 1:00 a.m. after the collapse. Rescuers had to amputate his legs in order to remove him from the rubble, but he died three hours later at a Miami hospital. Rescue dogs are tracking blood in the garage, but it is currently too unsafe to allow rescuers to continue searching. Authorities have called engineers to come check the structural safety of the garage before allowing rescuers to continue their search. One worker still remains missing in the rubble. Carlos Hurtado Demendoza and Jose Calderon died instantly along with one other unidentified worker. Ten other victims were sent to local hospitals to treat their injuries.

Ajax Corporation, the builder of the parking garage, stated that the company is “committed to working with local, state and federal authorities to determine what caused the collapse.” The part of the garage that fell was the final wall, which was to be used a movie screen for the nearby college. The president of Ajax stated that this was the worst collapse in his career, but stated that there had been no warning signs nor was the work rushed on this particular garage.

After hearing the rumble, the electrical supervisor ran to the other side of the garage and found “a major chunk of the $22.5 million, five-story building, under construction on the college’s West Campus in Doral, already had collapsed.” According to one witness, the garage fell “like a house of cards.” It is believed that the structure began to collapse when a crane place a new expansion beam on top of another expansion beam. At the time of the collapse, electricians, welders, painters and other construction workers were working inside the garage and had only seconds to get out after the collapse began.

Death toll at 3, could rise in Doral parking garage collapse October 11, 2012.

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