Reporting Meghan McCorkell
BETHESDA, Md. (WJZ) — Deadly garage collapse. A daring rescue for emergency crews after a parking garage caves in on top of construction workers at the Montgomery Mall.
Meghan McCorkell has more on the rescue effort.
One man is dead, and a second construction worker was trapped for hours after concrete and steel came raining down on top of them.
From Sky Eye Chopper 13, a clear view of the massive slab of fallen concrete.
“You can see in the middle of the parking garage here where there is a partial collapse,” said Captain Jeff Long.
Fifty-thousand pounds of debris fell down onto two construction workers below just before 2 p.m.
“That’s pretty terrible. It’s like, one second can completely change your life,” said Tiffany Jen, shopper.
More than 150 rescue workers rushed to the Westfield Montgomery Mall to search for the men.
One of the construction workers was pronounced dead. It took four hours for rescue teams to free the other trapped worker.
“We had to shore it to where it was seated and then remove materials, whether it be steel or concrete around the patient in order to free him,” said Assistant Chief Scott Graham, Montgomery County Fire Department.
The collapse happened in part of the garage that’s under construction.
“You never thought that a parking garage that I always park in would actually have hurt families,” said Kimberly Chen, shopper.
The trapped man suffered serious injuries. Since he couldn’t make it to the emergency room, the ER came to him.
A surgical team was flown in from Shock Trauma in Baltimore to assist with the rescue.
“They bring out surgeons, they bring out anesthesists, they bring out nurses and they work together as a team alongside our paramedics.”
Just before 6 p.m., the worker was finally freed. He was rushed to a state police helicopter, conscious and talking with paramedics as he was airlifted to Shock Trauma.
Fire officials plan to remain on the scene overnight to ensure the safety of the structure.
The parking garage is under construction as a new movie theater is built at the mall.