Third victim dies, 1 still missing in collapsed parking garage in Florida

A five-story parking garage is shown after part of it collapsed at Miami-Dade College on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012, in Doral, Fla., killing one worker and trapping two others in the rubble, officials said. Several other workers were hurt, including one rescued from the debris. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

A five-story parking garage is shown after part of it collapsed at Miami-Dade College on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012, in Doral, Fla., killing one worker and trapping two others in the rubble, officials said. Several other workers were hurt, including one rescued from the debris. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

In this photo provided by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, emergency workers remove an injured man from the rubble after a section of a parking garage under construction at a Miami-Dade College campus collapsed Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012 in Doral, Fla., killing two workers and trapping at least one other in the rubble, officials said. (AP Photo/Miami-Dade Fire Rescue)

In this photo provided by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, emergency workers remove an injured man from the rubble after a section of a parking garage under construction at a Miami-Dade College campus collapsed Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012 in Doral, Fla., killing two workers and trapping at least one other in the rubble, officials said. (AP Photo/Miami-Dade Fire Rescue)

In a photo provided by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, firefighters search the rubble after a section of a parking garage under construction at a Miami-Dade College campus collapsed, Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012 in Doral, Fla., killing one worker and trapping at least two others in the rubble, officials said. (AP Photo/Miami-Dade Fire Rescue)

In a photo provided by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, firefighters search the rubble after a section of a parking garage under construction at a Miami-Dade College campus collapsed, Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012 in Doral, Fla., killing one worker and trapping at least two others in the rubble, officials said. (AP Photo/Miami-Dade Fire Rescue)

MIAMI — A third victim of a massive parking garage collapse at a Miami college died Thursday morning, just hours after rescuers pulled him from beneath piles of twisted steel and crumbled concrete, police said.

Samuel Perez, 53, had been trapped in the collapse Wednesday at Miami Dade College. He was beneath the rubble for about 13 hours, communicating with rescuers before he was taken to a hospital. He was first discovered after workers heard his cries, and crews were saddened to hear he had died, said Miami-Dade Police Lt. Rosanna Cordero-Stutz.

Authorities said they no longer expected to find anyone else alive and expected to pull a fourth person from what remained of the five-story structure that had been under construction. One worker was still missing, said Miami-Dade Fire-Rescue Assistant Chief David Downey.

"It's saddening because at the end of the day you know we are recovering a deceased person, not a live person," Cordero-Stutz said. "But we have to give closure to these families."

Police identified the other two men who died as Jose Calderon and Carlos Hurtado de Mendoza, 48. They died at hospitals after being rescued.

A press conference with officials from the company contracted to build the garage is planned for 11 a.m.

Another man was pulled out alive and brought to a hospital shortly after the collapse, Miami-Dade Fire-Rescue spokeswoman Griselle Marino said. A video shot by Miami-Dade Fire-Rescue and provided to The Associated Press showed four firefighters pulling him out from under a steel beam. His face and hands were bloody, and he was carried away on a stretcher.

At least seven workers were brought to the hospital with unidentified injuries, while an eighth was treated on the scene and sent home.

There were no students in the area because the garage was under construction. The campus was evacuated and closed for the rest of the week. Investigators planned to pick through the rubble to see what caused the garage to crumble.

Victoria Buczynski of Miami said she saw the collapse while working at Gurkha Cigars across the street from the construction site.

"It fell to the ground like a house of cards," Buczynski said. "The construction workers started running out, screaming. It was loud. Our entire building shook."

William P. Byrne, president and chief executive officer of the garage contractor, Ajax Building Corp., said an internal review was being launched to determine the cause. Byrne said the company would embrace "any additional protocols, policies and procedures that will enhance and ensure the continued priority of safety."

Ground was broken on the $22.5 million project in February, and the 1,855-space garage was to be finished in December, according to Ajax's website. The first floor was to have classroom and office space. The structure is next to the college's main office building and nestled among other campus buildings.

The college serves about 8,000 students and is one of several campuses in the Miami Dade College system. The campus opened in 2006.

POSTED EARLIER:

2 dead, 1 still missing in Florida parking garage collapse

MIAMI — Rescuers pulled a badly injured man from the rubble of a collapsed parking garage and planned to continue searching Thursday for a missing construction worker a day after the five-story structure came down, killing two people.

Officials said they expect to find another body in the rubble, although they stopped short of saying it was the missing person.

Early Thursday, workers pulled a man from the rubble some 13 hours after the garage fell. The survivor, whose name and age were not released, was taken by helicopter to a trauma center in Miami, said Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Capt. Louie Fernandez. An update on his condition was not available Thursday morning.

The worker was located by rescuers who heard his cries from amid the rubble not long after the roof of the garage fell, creating a pancake-style collapse.

Another man was pulled out alive and brought to a hospital shortly after the collapse, Miami-Dade Fire-Rescue spokeswoman Griselle Marino said.

A video shot by Miami-Dade Fire-Rescue and provided to The Associated Press showed four firefighters pulling him out from under a steel beam. His face and hands were bloody and he was put on a stretcher and carried away.

Seven workers were brought to the hospital with unidentified injuries while an eighth was treated on the scene and sent home.

There were no students in the area because the garage was under construction. The campus was evacuated and closed for the rest of the week. Investigators planned to pick through the rubble to see what caused the garage to crumble.

"We just know that the roof collapsed," Marino said.

One worker was still unaccounted for, and authorities expected to find at least one more body in the rubble, said Miami-Dade Fire-Rescue Assistant Chief David Downey. Late Wednesday, a man at the scene who declined to identify himself said he believed his brother, who was working at the garage at the time of the collapse, was still inside somewhere.

Downey said it was highly unlikely anyone left in the rubble would still be alive, and that authorities would now focus on recovery rather than rescue.

Victoria Buczynski of Miami said she saw the collapse while she was working at Gurkha Cigars across the street from the construction site at the Miami-Dade College.

"It fell to the ground like a house of cards," Buczynski said. "The construction workers started running out, screaming. It was loud. Our entire building shook."

William P. Byrne, president and chief executive officer of the garage contractor, Ajax Building Corp., said an internal review was being launched to determine the cause. Byrne said the company would embrace "any additional protocols, policies and procedures that will enhance and ensure the continued priority of safety."

Ground was broken on the $22.5 million project in February, and the 1,855-space garage was to be finished in December, according to Ajax's website. The first floor was to have classroom and office space. The structure is next to the college's main office building and nestled among other campus buildings.

The college serves about 8,000 students and is one of several campuses in the Miami-Dade College system. The campus opened in 2006.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Stories

Comments » 0

Be the first to post a comment!

Share your thoughts

Comments are the sole responsibility of the person posting them. You agree not to post comments that are off topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be banned. Click here for our full user agreement.

Comments can be shared on Facebook and Yahoo!. Add both options by connecting your profiles.

Features