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Fire chief ‘pretty confident’ nobody trapped after partial parking garage collapse at Florida hospital

An investigation has started after a partial collapse of a parking garage at Ascension St. Vincent’s Riverside hospital in Jacksonville, Florida.

Firefighters arrived at the scene just after noon on Sept. 12 and searched with dogs and drones. Structural engineers are now investigating to determine if the structure is safe before the search can continue.

“Crews worked a structural collapse to a parking garage today in the 1800 block of King Street,” Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Chief Keith Powers said at a news conference. “Miraculously, no injuries were reported, and we are pretty certain no one is trapped in the remaining unstable structure.

“Over 100 cars remain in the condemned structure.”

Investigators will also determine when people can retrieve their cars – more than 100 were parked in the garage at the time of the collapse.

“Until we can finish un-piling some of that stuff and get structural engineers in here to make sure it’s safe, we can’t say 1,000 percent that everyone is accounted for,” the fire chief told reporters.

Buildings adjacent to the garage will be condemned until a structural engineer determines the best way to stabilize the structure, Powers said.

The hospital’s emergency department remains accessible through the Dillon Building.

“As you may be aware, the third level of the Chartrand Building parking garage at Ascension St. Vincent’s Riverside collapsed onto the second level,” officials said in a news release. “Representatives from the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department and Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office conducted a thorough investigation of the parking garage, and they believe no injuries occurred.

“Cardiology and Podiatry at Ascension St. Vincent’s Riverside is closed until further notice. The office will reach out to patients to reschedule their appointments at one of our other clinics.

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