Scaffolding and wall collapse in Toronto prompts witness to jump in and help

A regular drive down Eglinton Avenue West in Toronto turned into a rescue mission for one woman who witnessed the scaffolding collapse at a Metrolinx construction site.

Woman tells her story to CBC News after helping rescue mom and baby from the rubble

Scaffolding collapse prompts witness to jump in and help

6 years ago
Duration 1:12
A witness of the scaffolding collapse at Eglinton and Bathurst describes helping victims underneath rubble.

A regular drive down Eglinton Avenue West in Toronto turned into a rescue mission for one woman who witnessed the scaffolding collapse at a Metrolinx construction site on Monday afternoon.

"I was driving down and I saw the scaffolding was tilting. And I thought, 'That's not good'; these people were walking underneath," said the witness, who spoke to CBC News, but does not want to be identified.

She nearly became a victim herself as she saw the cement blocks falling toward her vehicle.

"All of a sudden the whole thing just came down," said the witness. 

"I actually had to swerve, because I thought that's coming into — I was in that lane — that's going to run into me," she said. 

Seven people, including a baby, were injured and survived after a scaffolding collapsed on Eglinton Avenue West just west of Bathurst Street in Toronto on Monday afternoon. (Submitted)

Seconds later, she pulled over and rushed to help a man get to the injured.

"I jumped out of my car, and we just ran together and he just started digging in there," said the witness.   

That's when they both spotted a woman and a baby underneath the rubble.

"I saw the baby. She was crawling with the baby under her arm and I said, 'Give me the baby,'" said the witness.

She held the baby as the other rescuer pulled out a woman and man trapped underneath the collapsed scaffolding.

"The stroller was flattened. I don't know how this baby survived. It was just flattened," said the witness.

A baby's stroller was crushed under the collapsed scaffolding. (Submitted)

She told CBC News that she comforted the woman with her baby and directed them along with her husband to the ambulance on scene.

Seven people were injured.

"After seeing this land on people, I can't believe nobody was critically injured. I don't know how that happened," said the eyewitness.

Looking back at the danger she faced, the witness says she wouldn't hesitate to lend her help again.

"I've seen stuff like this on news, I've never seen it in person. And you don't know what you would do. Now I know what I would do," she said

"I know that, doesn't matter, I'm going to pull my car over ... and just run and try to help."