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Worker at collapsed garage still missing

Associated Press
Published December 8, 2007


JACKSONVILLE - Rescue crews used special cameras and audio equipment Friday to search for a missing construction worker believed to be trapped under concrete debris after a parking garage partially collapsed.

Officials worked through the night trying to locate Willie Edwards III.

Edwards, 26, and several others were helping build the garage when it collapsed around 6 a.m. Thursday, said Ginny Walthour, a spokeswoman for the city of Jacksonville.

By noon Friday, rescuers had searched roughly half the debris. Walthour did not know how long it would take to search the rest.

"They are being very methodical and deliberate to cover every aspect ... and to ensure the structure remains stable as it is," she said. "They're going to be onsite searching until everyone is accounted for."

Fourteen workers were hospitalized. Five were listed in good and fair condition Friday. The others were released, Walthour said.

Nine others had minor injuries and were treated on scene.

The collapse occurred as workers were pouring concrete on the sixth floor of the garage for a riverfront condominium complex, which is across the street from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

The front half of the garage collapsed, leaving the skeleton of the back half standing.