3 now dead in Fla. parking garage collapse

11:04 AM, Oct 11, 2012   |    comments
Firefighters look over the rubble after a section of a parking garage under construction at the Miami-Dade College campus collapsed in Doral, Fla., killing one worker and trapping at least two others.(Photo: J. Pat Carter, AP)
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MIAMI -- Authorities say a third person has died in the collapse of a parking garage under construction at a community college in Florida.

The latest victim was pulled from the rubble early Thursday, some 13 hours after the five-story structure fell, creating a pancake-like collapse.

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Police spokesman Javier Baez says the man died at a Miami trauma center. He added that the mission has now turned into a recovery effort and officials are expecting to find another body in the rubble.

At least 10 other workers were hurt when the roof of the five-story concrete garage fell on the campus of Miami-Dade College.

Officials are working to determine whether anyone else is missing.

Miami-Dade Fire-Rescue spokeswoman Griselle Marino says dogs, firefighters and other people in hard hats walked over piles of concrete, plywood and metal rubble to look for other possible victims.

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."

The large section of the nearly completed five-story garage fell shortly before 11:40 a.m. No students were in the area at the time, authorities said.

Four workers were taken to the hospital, including one in serious condition, Marino said. Three others were treated by paramedics at the scene.

The construction site looked like a typical one. A large crane stood beside the pile of rubble. Pickup trucks, a trash bin and tractor-trailer were nearby, as were ladders, a cooler and piles of wood and metal.

The construction of the 1,855-space garage appeared to be nearly complete. Ground was broken on the $22.5 million project in February, and it was to be completed in December, according to the website of the contractor, Ajax Building Corp.

The first floor was to have classroom and office space. The structure is nestled closely near to other buildings at the college, which serves about 8,000 students and is one of several campuses in the Miami-Dade College system. This campus opened in 2006.

(Associated Press)

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