1 dead, 4 in hospital after partial building collapse at London, Ont., construction site

One person has died and four others are in hospital as crews work to find one other person trapped after a building partially collapsed Friday in London, Ont.

Doctors at the London Health Sciences Centre said the individual died several hours after the collapse, having arrived at the hospital without vital signs. One other is in critical condition, one is in serious condition and two others are in fair condition. 

A statement from the City of London says the collapse happened at 555 Teeple Terrace in the city’s west end just before noon, when the wall of a four-storey building under construction suddenly gave way.

Speaking to reporters just after 2:30 p.m. ET, London Fire Department deputy chief Matt Hepditch confirmed that one person is trapped inside but gave no further information about their condition. 

“Right now we’re working together with everyone on scene and, if there is additional people coming out here, we’ll be able to share it with everyone on scene,” he said. 

Hepditch also said it’s not yet known what might have caused the collapse.

Police and firefighters attend the scene where a building partially collapsed at a construction site in London, Ont., on Friday. (Colin Butler/CBC)

Local resident Elizabeth Rutherford said she heard a “horrendous crash” shortly after arriving home. 

“I could hear all this yelling,” she said. “I kept hearing them and thought there’s something serious going on. I opened one of the curtains and all hell was breaking loose out here.” 

Rutherford said she saw construction workers rushing around and shortly after, emergency crews began to arrive.

Police are asking people to avoid the area. The roads leading to the site have been blocked to traffic. 

The city has activated its emergency operations centre and, shortly after 1 p.m., Toronto Fire Services chief Matthew Pegg tweeted that a heavy urban search-and-rescue team has been authorized to be sent to London.

London’s Victoria Hospital had also issued a code orange following the collapse, which is used in the event of an external disaster that creates an immediate demand for services that outstrip the hospital’s resources.

The hospital said doctors were also onsite to help with the rescue. 

The collapse happened just before noon on Friday in the city’s west end. (Colin Butler/CBC)

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