11/13/14 258 W, 1 I - + 5 - 3 Today's Pedestrian Bridge Collapse in Raleigh

Here's a recap of today's structural collapse on the north Raleigh campus of Wake Technical Community College. Dispatched initially for Engine 19 at 10:18 a.m., for an injured person. Quickly upgraded with a confined space rescue assignment, which included such fire department resources as Rescue 1, Squad 15, Ladder 3 (special trained for technical rescue), Battalion 5 (rescue chief), and USAR 801 (swift water unit staffed by Engine 25, though members trained in multiple rescue disciplines).

Arriving units found a 250-foot pedestrian bridge in a wooded area, with the center span collapsed. (The 140-section fell from a height of approximately forty feet.) Five patients found, but neither trapped, entrapped, or pinned. Four with serious injuries and non-ambulatory, and classified as trauma due to mechanism of injury. Fifth victim pronounced dead on scene. Four ambulances responded.

The bridge crossed a wooded area on campus and crossed a creek to connect with a parking deck on Success Way. The wetland terrain was a challenge for responders, for assessing, packaging, and extracting the patients. The center span collapsed as workers were pouring concrete onto it.

First EMS unit arrived six minutes later. Last one left the scene with a patient, thirty-three minutes after the incident started. All patients transported to WakeMed. There were no students at the accident site, only construction workers.

Fire response included E19, E28, L5, L3, Sq15, R1, A1, B1, B5, Haz-Mat 2, USAR 1, USAR 801. EMS response included EMS 36, EMS 10, EMS 3, EMS 15, Medic 93, District 3, and Chief 101. Other units included WC7.

Media: WNCN, WRAL, WTVD, News & Observer.

WTVD photo

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