Officials: Parking deck in Atlanta experiences 2nd collapse

Posted at 3:06 PM, Sep 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-12 15:06:17-04

ATLANTA (AP) -- A parking deck under construction in Atlanta has collapsed for a second time in as many days. Atlanta Fire Rescue said Saturday that fire units were deployed to the building in the city's Midtown section for "a second major collapse" of the parking deck that partially fell Friday.

One person was injured in Saturday's collapse and taken to a hospital, though the person was "alert, conscious, and breathing," Atlanta police spokeswoman Marla Jean Rooker said.

On Friday, a section of concrete on the parking deck partially collapsed, injuring six workers. Firefighters cut out one worker trapped under debris with saws and lowered him to the street, Atlanta Fire Rescue Deputy Chief Glen Riley said.

The worker had leg injuries but never lost consciousness, Riley said.

Other construction workers were injured but managed to walk away from the collapse, Riley told reporters at the scene.

A firefighter also was taken to a hospital, with likely heat exhaustion, Riley said.

The collapse involved part of a prefabricated parking deck under construction in Atlanta's Midtown neighborhood, according to fire officials. A column on the 11th floor gave way, causing debris to fall onto the 10th floor. The cause for the collapse was unclear, said Jason Wasulko, a spokesman for Batson-Cook Construction Co., which is building the structure.

Firefighters raised concerns that more of the structure could collapse and fall onto Interstate 75/85, a busy freeway through the heart of the city. Parts of adjoining streets and a ramp to the freeway were closed as a precaution.

The 3,000-space parking garage is being built at one of Emory University's hospitals just north of downtown Atlanta. It's supposed to be complete next year.

The garage is part of a major construction push at the hospital, including a new $470 million location for Emory's Winship Cancer Institute, which is going up in a 17-story tower on a parcel separate from the parking garage.