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Friday, June 29, 2012

Cabin Branch Update - 2:00 pm

Personell from the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department continue efforts to reach a victim trapped under a 40 to 50 foot mountain of debris. With the guidance of structural egineers from the County and the property management company a plan has been developed to move forward with the rescue. Contractors are setting up two large cranes that will remove debris and remaining roof structure elements. This operation should commence at around 3:00 pm. Once that task is complete, contractors will work on removal from the pile of debris where we believe the adult male employee is trapped. Once a significant path is clear, a search and rescue K-9 will be brought in to help identify a specific area to search. This debris removal process could take up to or exceed 5 hours. Firefighter/Medics are dealing with the heat by hydrating and when not assigned a task, sitting in a air conditioned room in the Pepsi Bottling Group building. Misting tents have also been set up to provide quick relief for overheated personnel. In addition to Pepsi providing much needed bottles of water the Ladies Auxiliary Canteen unit of the Prince George'S County Fire/Rescue Association and the Anne Arundel County Fire Alarmers are currently on location with cold drinks and nutritious snacks. Mark Brady @pgfdpio 240-508-7930

Collapse at 1501 Cabin Branch Drive - 6:30 am Update

Firefighters trained in confined space and collapse rescues and Search and Rescue K-9 teams have worked through the night and into this morning searching for an employee that remains unaccounted for after a roof collapse in Landover. The crews worked under a great risk of a secondary collapse and exercised all required precautions in an attempt to locate the employee. Search efforts have been centered in an area where the employee was last seen working in the warehouse. The area is strewn with building debris, fallen storage racks and boxes and boxes of paper files. The man has not been seen or heard from since the collapse and his car is still in the buildings parking lot. Other employees have told firefighters that a forklift accidentally struck a storage rack causing it to fall and hit other racks and support beams. Once the support beams fell the roof collapsed and the walls buckled. The damaged warehouse stability continues to deteriote as gaps in the buckled walls continue to grow and the undeniable sound of cracking and twisting metal grow louder. Due to the structural instabilty search efforts have paused until structural engineers arrive. Search teams are awaiting the arrival of structural engineers to assess the building and develop the next course of action. Mark Brady @pgfdpio 240-508-7930

Warehouse Collapse - Cabin Branch Drive 1 am Update

A significant collapse of a large box style commercial warehouse occurred on Thursday, June 28, at around 10 pm. There were about 25 employees inside the warehouse when the sudden collapse occurred buckling a portion of the side wall and a pancake collapse of a portion of the rear wall. When Firefighter/Medics arrived at 1501 Cabin Branch Drive in Landover they worked on evacuating employees and securing the gas, water and electric utilities. After an accountability check of employees it was found that one employee was missing and unaccounted for.

The business involved performs document management. The warehouse area stores a high quantity of paper files. These files are stored in boxes on tall storage shelves. During the collapse a number of these storage shelves toppled over.

Members of the Fire/EMS Department Technical Rescue Team with mutual aid assistance from the District of Columbia Collapse Team have made several searches of the warehouse interior for the employee. A K-9 has also been brought in to search the area where the employee was last seen.

Other warehouses that are attached to the partially collapsed warehouse have been evacuated as a precaution. These include Pepsi-Cola and a Whole Foods distribution warehouse.

No injuries have been reported. In addition to the 75 firefighters, medics, ladies auxiliary/canteen and technical rescue team members on the scene personnel from the Office of Emergency Management and Council Member Andrea Harrison were also on the incident scene.

We are still in a rescue operation. After firefighters have exhausted all searches of the unaccounted worker than a decision will be made on the next course of action. It is believed that any heavy duty work would not start until the light of day On Friday morning.

If anything new develops I will update this site and Twitter @pgfdpio as soon as possible. Mark Brady PGFDPIO 240-508-7930