SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Nine workers were pulled from a collapsed building on a hospital construction site in Shreveport Friday morning.
Shreveport Fire Chief Scott Wolverton said 18 workers have all been accounted for at the site. None of the injuries are believed to be life-threatening.
A Shreveport Fire Department Urban Rescue team was called to the scene, but Wolverton said there was "no lengthy extrication required on any patient" when they arrived. Most were taken to Willis-Knighton North on site, but Wolverton said some were taken to other area hospitals due to the sheer number of casualties.
"The most difficult part was determining whether we had anybody trapped or not. We needed communication with the people that were on scene to account for all employees on site," said Wolverton, who added there was no lengthy extrication required at the scene, but a large number of patients needed triage and treatment on scene before they were taken to area hospitals.
"We responded and got on scene and saw the magnitude and in sizing up the scene, we recognized that we could have a serious number of patients and again, I think there's probably some divine intervention here that we don't have a worse outcome and things worked out very well."
More than 30 firefighters were called to the scene of a construction accident near Willis-Knighton North Hospital the 2600 block of Greenwood Road just before 10 a.m.
We spoke with one worker about the collapse, and if he was there when the building fell. He told us, "mhm, on the top."
We asked him if he had gotten injured, he responded, "no. My friends were hurt. 3 of them were sent to the hospital." He told us he was scared as it fell, but was not hurt.
KSLA News 12 spoke to a few workers off as they were leaving the work site off camera. They told us that some of the injured complained of back injuries, and high blood pressure.
He also explained how they were getting ready to start working on the bottom floor, to reinforce their work because the floor had started to sag. He said if the collapse happened just 30 minutes later, the outcome could have been much different, much worse.
The facility under construction was for an additional ICU for the hospital, along with surgery units and bed space, which will eventually be tied to the existing medical facility. It was expected to be completed in 12 months.
Concrete was being poured when a portion of scaffolding and infrastructure failed, according to Willis-Knighton Health System Chief Operating Officer Chuck Daigle.
All construction work at the site has been stopped while the investigation is under way.