SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Rescue workers pulled a woman, injured but alive, from the rubble of a building that had collapsed nearly three hours earlier Friday in South Dakota's largest city.
Crews continued searching for a second person believed to be trapped under the debris of the brick building in downtown Sioux Falls. The woman, 22, was rushed to the hospital.
"She's alive and well. Does have some injuries to her legs. We don't know the extent of that at this time," said Sioux Falls emergency manager Regan Smith.
The other person trapped is a construction worker, said Sioux Falls Fire Rescue Chief Jim Sideras. Rescue workers also pulled the woman's dog — alive — from the rubble of the building where she lived.
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.