8 rescued after rooftop parking deck collapses into office in East Vancouver
Firefighters say it is still unknown whether anyone remains trapped inside the building
UPDATE — July 15, 2022: Fire crews say one person remains missing after the collapse on Thursday. An updated story can be found here.
Two people have been taken to hospital after a section of a rooftop parking deck collapsed into the office space below in East Vancouver on Thursday afternoon.
Firefighters had rescued eight people from the collapsed roof by Thursday evening. In a tweet, Fire Chief Karen Fry said crews would be working at the caved-in structure for several hours more.
According to B.C. Emergency Health Services, paramedics responded to the emergency at 3434 Lougheed Highway at 1:08 p.m. PT. Four ambulances responded, and two patients were taken to hospital. As of 7:30 p.m., the emergency response is still ongoing.
Asst. Fire Chief Dan Moberg said it's yet to be determined whether anyone was trapped inside the office.
He said the collapse happened while a skid-steer loader was working on the roof, and the heavy equipment fell along with the roof. The collapsed area measures about nine by 12 metres.
By 4:30 p.m., Moberg said engineers were assessing the stability of the building to determine whether it was safe to begin removing debris and searching inside.
The Heavy Urban Search and Rescue task force was standing by at the scene.
Julio Medrano lives nearby and was at home when the collapse happened.
"I just saw this big cloud of black [smoke] and this smell of asphalt," he said.
Moberg said about 30 firefighters were on scene. WorkSafeBC has been notified, and an officer has been assigned to investigate.
Police have blocked all traffic along Lougheed Highway between Rupert Street and Boundary Road while they respond.
- A previous version of this story said eight people had been rescued in addition to the two who were hospitalized. In fact, eight people in total were rescued.Jul 15, 2022 8:02 AM PT
With files from Liam Britten and The Canadian Press