One presumed dead, one injured in collapse at B.C. construction site: RCMP

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VANCOUVER — One person is believed to be dead and another is in hospital after part of a building collapsed, RCMP in North Vancouver said Wednesday.

Fire and rescue personnel determined that one person had sustained "catastrophic" injuries, but it was still too dangerous to remove debris within the construction site in order to recover the body, Sgt. Peter DeVries said in an interview.

Structural engineers and specialists have been called in, DeVries said.

The coroners service has yet to officially confirm the death, he said, while BC Emergency Health Services said the second person is in stable condition.

"It's a very sad day for not only friends and family, but for the construction community at large and for North Vancouver as well."

DeVries said police don't believe anyone else was trapped.

"We have no reason to believe that there is anyone else in there, but of course, as the investigation unfolds, they will certainly ensure that is the case."

It looked like a "demolition in progress," DeVries said, but he couldn't confirm what kind of work was taking place at the building or the name of the company involved.

Officers encountered a "chaotic" scene when they responded to numerous 911 calls about the collapse around 9:45 a.m. on Wednesday, he said.

The Mounties will investigate to determine whether any criminality was involved in the death and if they find none, the coroners service and WorkSafeBC, the provincial worker safety agency, will examine the circumstances that led to the fatality.

"We're still right at the very beginning stages of that investigation," DeVries said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 25, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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