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

Building Collapses in Virginia; Crews Search for Trapped Workers

September 10, 2008 04:56 PM
by Emily Coakley
Part of a retail and residential complex under construction collapsed Wednesday, and emergency officials are trying to determine whether anyone is trapped.
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Up to a dozen construction workers are missing and could be trapped after part of a building collapsed in suburban Richmond, Va., Web site inRich.com reports.

The accident occurred around noon Wednesday. 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 inRich.com. “Due to the instability, this is not a fast operation.”

According to NBC12, Coffin said it’s not confirmed that there are 12 victims. Rescue workers were using microphones to listen for anyone who might be trapped in the rubble. He explained that people fled the area when the accident occurred, which has created some question as to whether everyone got out.

NBC12 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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