Demolition at South Dakota building collapse site nears completion

Demolition at South Dakota building collapse site nears completion

Collapse at downtown Sioux Falls renovation site killed a construction worker, trapped a resident.

December 14, 2016
CDR Staff
Construction crews continue to remove the roof framing of the old Skelly’s building and the debris on the site of the downtown Sioux Falls, South Dakota, building collapse, which occurred around 10:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 2 at 136 South Phillips Ave.

A construction worker who was working inside the building at the time of the collapse was killed. A 22-year-old woman was rescued after spending three hours trapped in the rubble of her parents' second-story apartment. About 200 first responders assisted with the rescue and recovery effort.

After the collapse, demolition crews worked to bring down the remaining portions of the building. According to a press release issued by the city Dec. 13, demolition work, including leveling the remaining single-story portions of the Copper Lounge and Skelly’s, were expected to be complete at the end of that day with debris removal complete by the end of the week. Sidewalks have been closed immediately around the collapse site. Two lanes of Tenth Street also remain closed, to be used as a staging area for crews continuing to work on the structures.

The city says parties are working together to maintain public safety and increase the structural integrity of the PAve building.

The cause of the collapse had not been determined and is still under investigation. The building, which was constructed in 1916 was being converted into a drugstore. According to reports, work was being performed by Sioux Falls-based Hultgren Construction. Hultgen was permitted to handle the removal of interior finishes such as ceiling tiles, furnishings, floor coverings and a bar area.

“Thank you to everyone for your prayers for these victims and their families. I also commend the first responders and others working to save as well as find these two victims,” said Souix Falls Mayor Mike Huether on the eve of the collapse. “Finally, the family of the young man who passed needs to know they are not alone tonight in their sadness.”