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Worker's Body Recovered From Partial Building Collapse

Ilyce Meckler
Search teams gathered at the site Monday.

Updated: Tuesday, 11:40 a.m.

Firefighters on Tuesday recovered a construction worker's body from a building that had collapsed Monday at the corner of Fourth and Race streets in Downtown Cincinnati. Wednesday morning, the coroner's office identified him as Preston Todd Delph, 58, of Hebron, Ky. It took the search and recovery team more than a day to locate the body. 

Cincinnati City Manager Patrick Duhaney shared the news with City Council in an email. "The heart of the city of Cincinnati goes out to the family and friends of the deceased," he wrote. "This is truly a sad day for our city. I cannot imagine the grief this family must be going through at this time."

Turner Construction confirmed the city manager's announcement, writing "This is an extremely sorrowful time and our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and co-workers at this difficult time.

"We want to thank the region's first responders, emergency service workers and the American Red Cross volunteers for their tireless and selfless efforts through this entire ordeal.

"We are encouraging workers to utilize the grief counseling services that are available to them in the difficult days and weeks ahead."

Until now, the worker's death had been suspected but not confirmed. 

On Monday, Duhaney had said, "We are all praying for a miracle."

Four people were also injured, which happened at a Cincinnati Center City Development (3CDC) project. 

"The partial collapse occurred during a concrete pour on the seventh floor, which fell into the sixth floor," a Monday release from 3CDC says. "This was the highest level of the structure that had been completed. When finished, the building will be 14 stories tall."

On Wednesday, 3CDC issued a statement saying its "thoughts are with (Delph's family) as they begin to grieve this heartbreaking loss."

The company added, "Despite the painful news, we must now work to ensure that the area where the partial collapse took place is safe. Crews are currently working to clean up debris in this area in an effort to make sure it is secure and stable. Once completed, we can start to fully evaluate what happened and work to make sure the proper protocols are put in place to avoid anything like this happening in the future."

Rob Richardson, Jr., a representative with the Laborers' International Union of North America, spoke with Cincinnati Edition Tuesday about the dangers of construction work. 

"Our local just a month ago had two other deaths - not the same type of deaths like pouring concrete - but these things happen more often than people realize," he said, adding, "It is really, really unsafe conditions and this is why these workers obviously deserve our respect, safe conditions and high pay."

Jennifer Merritt brings 20 years of "tra-digital" journalism experience to WVXU.