Search Underway For Victim Of Monday's Partial Building Collapse Downtown

Nov 25, 2019

Updated: Tuesday, 5:31 a.m.

Four people were injured and one person unaccounted for after a partial building collapse at the corner of Fourth and Race streets in downtown Cincinnati Monday afternoon.

According to an email obtained by WVXU, City Manager Patrick Duhaney told members of City Council Monday night firefighters had shifted from a search and rescue to a search and recovery effort. 

"It goes without saying that this is a horrible tragedy," Duhaney wrote. "Our thoughts are with the family of all those affected, particularly the individual who has not yet been found. We are all praying for a miracle."

Hamilton County Coroner Lakshmi Sammarco was on the scene and did not confirm rumors of a worker's death that had circulated since shortly after the collapse, WCPO reports.

Search teams worked overnight.

Chief of Operations Tom LaKamp conducts a shift briefing for Firefighters operating on the scene at W. 4th and Elm St. on Tuesday
Credit Cincinnati Fire Department / Twitter

"The men and women who build this city do not come to work every day without risk, and today is a painful reminder of that," Mayor John Cranley said in a statement issued Monday night. "We thank our first responders who helped several people hurt today and are still working at this hour to bring closure to this sad day."

The accident happened at a Cincinnati Center City Development (3CDC) project. In a news release, 3CDC says it's a partner in the mixed-use development with the Indianapolis-based developer Flaherty & Collins.

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

Cincinnati Fire Chief Roy Winston said early Monday that three people had been taken to the hospital. One person's injuries were minor and the other two were more serious, including head injuries. They were taken to Christ Hospital and the UC Medical Center. Turner Construction, a contractor on the project, confirmed in a Monday night statement that four workers were injured on the scene, treated and released. The company said grief counseling services would be made available to all workers. 

In the release, 3CDC says "crews are still working to account for all individuals who were on site. Our thoughts are with the injured workers, who we hope recover quickly, and their families."

Construction will be paused as project partners work to determine the cause of the collapse and confirm the structural integrity of the rest of the building, 3CDC added.

To see more photos from the scene, click the photo above.