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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Recovery Made at Landover Collapse

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930, mebrady@co.pg.md.us

The Cabin Branch scene had been a busy and noisy work site, however, on Sunday morning it quickly became quiet and somber when the body of an employee missing since Thursday night was discovered and, unfortunately, pronounced deceased.

The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department has been on the scene of a building collapse incident in Landover since 10:00 pm on Thursday night.   Firefighter/Medics have worked around the clock at 1501 Cabin Branch Drive to find an employee that has remained unaccounted for since the collapse occurred.  Contractors were brought in Friday to begin safely removing warehouse contents from the employees’ last known location.

Contractors used large cranes, bulldozers and dump trucks to remove the damaged roof, shelving material and warehouse contents.  As the contractors removed 8 feet of the aforementioned items, Search and Rescue K-9 teams were brought in and allowed to search the debris pile in hopes of pinpointing a specific area.

Just before 8:00 am, Sunday, July 1, 2012, the deceased body of the missing employee was located.  The discovery was a result of the combined efforts of contractors, firefighter/medics and Search and Rescue K-9 teams.  Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor was on location when the discovery was made and assisted with family notification.  Family members of the deceased have been on-site since Thursday evening.  The deceased has been removed from the scene by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME).  It is the policy of the Fire/EMS Department not to release the identity of a victim until the OCME has completed their autopsy report.

The Fire/EMS Department would like to acknowledge the assistance of the employees and management of Recall during the past few days.  Their cooperation during the effort is appreciated. We also appreciate the assistance of the family members and we offer our condolences to the family and Recall for their loss.

The role of the Fire/EMS Department will now start to diminish, as our mission is complete.  Control of the site will transfer from the Fire/EMS Department to property managers and the insurance company for continued cleanup and repair.

The Maryland Occupational Safety and Health Agency (MOSHA) will conduct an investigation into the circumstances of the collapse.  The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) will determine the cause of death. Questions for Recall and information about the deceased employee should be directed to Schwartz MSL at Recall@schwartzmsl.com.

County Council Chair Andrea Harrison as well as other allied County agencies such as the Police Department, Department of Environmental Resources, Public Safety Communications, Crisis Management Teams, Fire/EMS Service Chaplain Paul Brown, Department of Public Works and Transportation and the Office of Emergency Management, have assisted in this multi-day effort during the hottest days of the year.   

Many thanks to the Prince George’s County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association Ladies Auxiliary and the Anne Arundel County Fire Alarmers for their providing cold refreshments, nourishing snacks and meals for all those involved in the rescue.  The Ladies Auxiliary Canteen remained on the scene for the majority of this event.

Thanks also to units from surrounding jurisdictions that provided mutual aid assistance including the District of Columbia Fire Department and their Collapse Team provided back-up support on Thursday night.  Additional Search and Rescue K-9 Teams from Montgomery County, Maryland, Task Force (TF) 1, Fairfax, Virginia, TF-1 and Delmarva Search and Rescue provided additional Search and Rescue K-9 teams.  Delmarva teams were on scene this morning when the discovery was made.

Over 200 personnel from various commands of the Fire/EMS Department operated at the scene.  Some were on the initial assignment Thursday evening.  Others were rotated through the incident scene through the duration of the incident.  

While the outcome of this incident was not what we had hoped for the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department provided the best possible effort to locate the victim in the most expeditious manner humanly possible under extremely difficult conditions. 

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