Richmond, Chesterfield, building collapse in Chesterfield
Richmond Times-Dispatch, Clement Britt/AP

Body Found in Virginia Building Collapse

September 11, 2008 01:56 PM
by Emily Coakley
One person died after part of an unfinished retail and residential complex collapsed Wednesday. Rescuers are continuing their search as a precaution.

A collapse at a construction site outside Richmond, Va., has claimed one life, the Times-Dispatch reports. When the second floor of a building at the Chester Village Green collapsed early Wednesday afternoon, officials feared that up to 12 workers were trapped.

The body of Scott Giordano, 38, of Disputanta was found in the collapsed building sometime yesterday afternoon, according to the paper. Another person had minor injuries. Officials will continue searching over the next day or two to make sure no one else is trapped, though.

One worker told the paper the collapse could have been more tragic had it not occurred at noon. “I don’t know how many more people would have been in the building had it not been lunchtime,” said Dennis Harden, who had a crew of people working on drywall at the site.

Matt Coffin of Chesterfield’s Fire and EMS held a press conference at the site Wednesday afternoon. “Naturally, as you see, there’s a major compromise in the structural integrity,” Coffin told reporters, according to “Due to the instability, this is not a fast operation.”

Rescue workers used microphones to listen for anyone who might be trapped in the rubble. Coffin explained that people fled the area when the accident occurred, which created some question as to whether everyone got out.

NBC12 on Wednesday described witness accounts: “[They] say they heard a popping sound, and what sounded like freight train—and then, it completely fell. The second floor collapsed into the first floor. In an interview with a man at the scene, he said workers told him they heard wood cracking and popping—and that the floor dropped once and then, dropped again.”

The building was to be part of Chester Village Green, a development under construction that includes stores on the first floor and condominiums on the second.


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