WATCH LIVE

Butler County team assists crews searching for missing person in Cincinnati building collapse

Published: Tuesday, November 26, 2019 @ 9:37 AM

Contributed Photo/WCPO-TV
Contributed Photo/WCPO-TV

The Butler County Technical Rescue Team responded to Monday’s partial building collapse in downtown Cincinnati and worked overnight as crews continued efforts to recover a missing person.

Four people were pulled from the debris of the building at at Fourth and Race streets Monday afternoon, and all were treated and released from area hospitals. However, a fifth person is still missing.

Cincinnati Fire Chief Roy Winston said officials feel they need to bring in heavier equipment to help in the search. Initially, jackhammers and smaller hand tools were being used so they didn't create more debris.

Content Continues Below

The collapse happened around 1:15 p.m. Monday, according to police. According to a statement from 3CDC, workers had been pouring concrete from the unfinished seventh floor to the sixth below when part of the structure gave out.

READ MORE: Recovery effort for worker continues at partial building collapse in Cincinnati

The Butler County Technical Rescue Team, comprised of 25 first responders from across the county, was deployed to Cincinnati at around 8 p.m. Monday to spell Cincinnati first responders who had been working all day, according to EMA Director Matt Haverkos. 

“Bottom line, they basically had Cincinnati fire, Hamilton County Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) working throughout the day and so these were just resources to come in support them overnight between Butler County and Columbus USAR teams,” Haverkos said.

“We were there as a resource with equipment and people with subject matter experts for building and structural collapses to support the search efforts for a missing individual.” 

He said essentially they did “a bucket brigade removing materials as carefully as they could.” 

“It’s one of those incidents where you just wear down and having teams that are equally trained and resources that are compatible, this was a good showing of that…,” he said. “What they were doing is rotating out through shifts on a jack hammer and a bucket brigade hauling out concrete, so obviously that wears you down in not too much time.” 

The team was released at around 6:30 a.m.

Crews are searching an area estimated to be about 200-feet by 40-feet, so K9 units are being brought in to help narrow down the search area.