Man found dead under collapsed South Dakota building; woman rescued earlier today

SIOUX FALLS, SD (AP) —

A South Dakota official says authorities have found the body of a construction worker in a collapsed building in Sioux Falls.

Sioux Falls Fire Rescue Chief Jim Sideras says officials found the man in a void using a search dog. The building collapsed into the street in downtown Sioux Falls earlier Friday.

The family of a 22-year-old woman who was pulled from the rubble a few hours earlier says she’s in good condition.

Sideras says authorities don’t believe anyone else is in the debris.

He didn’t immediately identify the man who died. Sideras says, “It just didn’t work out for us, unfortunately.”

Authorities don’t know what caused the building to collapse.

Sioux Falls police Lt. Loren McManus said responders will keep clearing debris. He said he doesn’t think authorities have had contact with the second victim, but officials have a general idea of the victim’s location. McManus said officials don’t know the cause of the collapse.

The temperature was in the low 30s in Sioux Falls on Friday, with temperatures expected to dip into the 20s as the night goes on.

Mike Klatt, 39, was getting coffee across the street when he saw bricks coming down from the top of the building. The bottom gave way, and it collapsed into the street, he said. Klatt said people ran out of the coffee shop to see if anyone was trapped, but nobody was visible.

He said he was waiting at the cordoned-off scene for his black Dodge Magnum to be freed from the rubble.

Beckie Hurley, of Sioux Falls, was across the street when she saw a wall of bricks collapsing and then a wave of dust. The 34-year-old who works at a manufacturing company left her belongings in a coffee shop to run outside, thinking there were probably people in the structure.

“For a couple of minutes, it was just a stunned silence,” Hurley said, before first responders arrived.

Sideras said the woman who was rescued had been able to communicate by phone with her mother during the ordeal. He said she couldn’t see daylight so rescue crews knew she was buried deeply in debris.

The building was being turned into a drugstore. The city of Sioux Falls said in a statement that the building was constructed in 1916. Hultgren Construction, the company working on the building, declined to comment to the Argus Leader newspaper.

The city issued a permit authorizing Hultgren Construction to take out interior finishes such as ceiling tiles, furnishings, floor coverings and a bar area, according to the statement.

Sheila Stanley, area director of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Sioux Falls area office, told the newspaper that OSHA records show the construction company doesn’t have any prior workplace safety violations.

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