London

Body of victim recovered in collapsed building in London, Ont., as investigation continues

Efforts to recover the body of a person who was trapped after the partial collapse of a building in London, Ont., have been completed, city officials said Sunday. 

The recovery had been delayed out of fears the structure could further collapse

The four-storey building at 555 Teeple Terrace suddenly gave way just before noon on Friday. The incident killed two people and injured four others. (Travis Dolynny/CBC)

Efforts to recover the body of a person who was trapped after the partial collapse of a building in London, Ont., have been completed, city officials said Sunday morning. 

The area around 555 Teeple Terrace in the city's west end had been closed since just before noon on Friday when the wall of a four-storey building under construction suddenly gave way. Two people were killed and four injured.

One person died in hospital on Friday, shortly after being pulled from the wreckage. Another person, who was also pronounced dead on Friday, had been buried under the rubble until just before midnight on Saturday night, when recovery efforts were completed, officials said.

"In a collapse situation, there are many hazards, so the time needed to do this takes a long time," said Dave O'Brien, the City of London's director of security and emergency management. "We had to ensure the safety of everyone involved. The last thing we would want is another person injured as part of that response."

Those who were killed and injured were working on the construction of the four-storey apartment building, a project managed by Brock Developments. Ontario's Ministry of Labour is investigating, and the company said it is co-operating. 

Efforts to get the victim out were delayed because the building was unstable after the collapse, and recovery teams wanted to avoid further injuries.

A person brings flowers to the site of the building collapse in honour of the victims on Saturday. (Andrew Lupton/CBC)

A private demolition company was called in to assist as portions of the building had to be dismantled until the structure was stable enough for emergency workers to safely recover the body.

The recovery was a joint effort involving the London Police Service, London Fire Department, Middlesex-London Paramedic Service and the City of London.

The city said that out of respect for the individuals and their families, it will not be providing further information regarding the identities of the victims. 

During a media briefing Sunday afternoon, Dr. Neil Parry, the site chief of surgery at Victoria Hospital, said two of the injured people have been discharged from hospital while the other two remain in hospital in stable condition.

An investigation is underway to determine what caused the collapse, the city said, adding that the scene will remain closed. 

London police Chief Steve Williams said the investigation is still in its early stages. 

"Up until last night, it was rescue and recovery. Now it's about hitting the pause button and gathering information from everybody who was there ... and sorting through that," he said. "We don't want to rush it. It's being done collaterally with the Ministry of Labour, so we will get there when we get there. These things do take time."

Roads around the area had been closed while the recovery was underway. Wonderland Road between Springbank Drive and Commissioners Road has since reopened.

WATCH | Aerial footage of partial building collapse in London, Ont.:

Aerial footage of partial building collapse in London, Ont.

10 months ago
0:31
Drone footage shows the extent of the damage following a partial building collapse in London, Ont. on Dec. 11, 2020. Video submitted by Matt Blain. 0:31

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sofia Rodriguez

Reporter/Editor

Sofia Rodriguez is a multimedia journalist with CBC News in London. You can email her at sofia.rodriguez@cbc.ca

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