The two men killed when the walls of the building they were working to construct collapsed in London, Ont., left behind young families and a community shocked by the tragedy.
Henry Harder, 26, and John Martens, 21, died Friday when parts of the four-storey building in southwest London suddenly gave way. The accident injured four others.
Harder, from Tillsonburg, Ont., leaves behind a wife he married two years ago and a three-week-old daughter. Pastor John Dyke, who married the couple, said the loss is hitting everyone hard.
“They’d been really enjoying life together. He was a kind man and his wife is feeling a lot of emotions right now,” Dyke said, noting the funeral for Harder is planned for Tuesday.
Martens was from the small community of Langton, Ont. According to his obituary, he leaves behind his parents, his girlfriend and 10 siblings.
“This is a devastating loss to both of these families,” the Lighthouse Gospel Church in Port Burwell, Ont., wrote in social media post Sunday. It will host the funerals for both men.
“[The families] will need the support of many of you in the coming days, weeks, and months,” the post said.
As of Sunday afternoon, two different online crowdfunding campaigns have raised more than $60,000 each for the families of the two men.
One was started by East Elgin Concrete Forming Ltd., based in Tillsonburg, which said it wanted to support the families of the two men. The company was not available to comment on whether it was Harder and Martens’ employer.
We are deeply saddened by the tragic accident in London yesterday and our hearts go out to all of those involved. <a href=”https://t.co/FJKo1Uk4sy”>pic.twitter.com/FJKo1Uk4sy</a>
Ontario’s Ministry of Labour is working alongside London Police Services in investigating the cause of the building collapse.
At approximately 11:40 a.m. ET Friday, emergency crews were called to the scene at 555 Temple Terrace where neighbours described hearing what sounded like a “horrendous crash” before realizing the building had partially collapsed.
Dr. Neil Parry, chief of surgery for the London Health Science Centre, said Sunday that two workers remain in hospital in stable condition. Two others have been discharged.
Parry was speaking at a news conference organized by the city. Mayor Ed Holder offered his condolences to the families.
“It’s certainly my intention on behalf of the city, as appropriate, to personally acknowledge the loss and the injuries,” Holder said. “We will do that, but we will do that respectfully and appropriately … It’s just too tragic.”