Collapse during Ohio power plant demolition leaves 2 missing

Following the collapse of the 14-story building, two demolition workers still remain unaccounted for.

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December 11, 2020

A rescue mission has turned into a recovery effort for two people missing following a power plant collapse in Adams County, Ohio, on Dec. 9, reports WLWT.

According to the Adams County Sheriff’s Office, the collapse took place around 9 a.m. at the site of the former Killen Generating Station along U.S. 52.

Officials said the building was in the middle of a demolition when it collapsed. The Manchester Fire Chief said the 14-story building was intact prior to the collapse.

Adams County Sheriff Kim Rogers told WLWT, initially, five people were unaccounted for following the collapse.

Three of the five people have since been located and taken to the hospital for treatment. Two were taken to the hospital early on, and a third was taken to an area hospital after being buried under the rubble for hours. The first two are expected to be OK, but the third person remains in serious condition as of the night of the incident.

Two workers remain unaccounted for. It was confirmed late on Dec. 9 by the incident commander that the rescue mission has turned into a recovery effort for the two missing people.

“It’s the demolition people [who were involved],” Rogers said. “Next week, they were preparing to take that building down and those stacks. So this was some kind of preparation to take that building down.”

Rogers said the coal-fired generating station opened in 1982 and was closed in May 2018. Contractors have been working on the demolition process for a few months, he added.

Multiple rescue crews, including Hamilton County search and rescue, have responded to the scene, the sheriff's office said. Among those at the site was Tim Dever, a history buff who has been photographing the demolition process for quite some time.

"I don't if a lot of people in town actually know about it yet, because I didn't,” Dever said. “I was at Walmart and the assistant fire chief's wife told me at Walmart, she said, 'I figured you would be at Killen,' because I've been sending him pictures of the demolition throughout the whole process. And I said, 'Well, I just ain't made it up there yet today.' She said, 'Well, it collapsed this morning.'"