WASHINGTON, Pa. - A Washington mother was trapped for nine agonizing hours Wednesday when a building, already red-flagged for dangerous conditions, collapsed.
First responders worked throughout the day, in grueling heat, to free her from that collapsed building.
They all cheered once she was rescued.
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WHO SHE IS:
Megan Angelone is being treated at UPMC Presby.
"My mom turned the news on, and the next thing I know, the EMT called her," said Matthew Angelone, the victim's brother.
He is glad his sister is OK, but has serious questions for officials with Washington County.
"How come the county didn't shut the building down? They wouldn't have this mess right now," Matthew Angelone said.
Megan Angelone had moved in less than a week ago.
"Just last night, her whole ceiling fell down," Matthew Angelone said.
"It was very difficult to get her out," said Chief Alan Hausman with Pennsylvania Strike Team 1, which is the largest in the state for urban search and rescue. "She was in a very small area with appliances on top of her."
UPDATE 6:25 p.m.
After nine hours, the woman trapped underneath a refrigerator inside a collapsed building has been freed.
People could be heard cheering as she was loaded into the ambulance.
Two rescue workers were hospitalized because of the heat.
UPDATE 5:54 p.m.
At least 50 trained rescue technicians on scene working to free trapped woman "This is not in any textbook that we've ever looked at." pic.twitter.com/eqywER3DAW— WPXI (@WPXI) July 12, 2017
Crews coming at rescue from 4 separate angles https://t.co/AyX8rdNOOf no first responders have been injured during rescue.— WPXI (@WPXI) July 12, 2017
Exterior walls of buildings in downtown areas are several bricks thick "Lot of tedious, old-fashioned claw hammers, brick by brick."
— WPXI (@WPXI) July 12, 2017
"Refrigerator is keeping her safe and keeping her pinned" officials say about victim still trapped in collapsed building— WPXI (@WPXI) July 12, 2017
UPDATE: Building will be demolished first thing in the morning, rescuers expect to get to woman before nightfall.— WPXI (@WPXI) July 12, 2017
Secondary collapse a few hours in slowed down rescue efforts. Rescuers will now try to get trapped woman from another angle.— WPXI (@WPXI) July 12, 2017
UPDATE 4:45 p.m.
Two doctors are now with the woman trapped underneath a refrigerator inside of a collapsed building in Washington.
She's been trapped for more than seven hours. Crews are trying to stabilize the building so they can get to her.
They decided Wednesday afternoon the building wasn't stable enough and the best method to get the woman out safely was to bust through the brick wall of the neighboring building.
Rescuers told Channel 11 the refrigerator protected her from the two floors of debris that collapsed on top of it.
Doctors are giving the woman an IV and medicine while first responders remove each piece in a way that ensures more debris will not collapse.
More medics are on standby for when that woman is brought out of the building.
One person is trapped and another person was rescued Wednesday morning from a building that partially collapsed in Washington, officials said.
WHAT WE KNOW:
Emergency crews responded about 9 a.m. to the scene on North Main Street.
At least five people extricated, either with help or on their own, from the building, officials said. A man was rescued from the building, but his fiancee is still trapped inside under a refrigerator. She is talking with paramedics and an IV was put in her arm to get fluids to her.
Washington County Director of Public Safety Jeff Yates said the refrigerator is holding the weight of two stories.
“She is kind of under a refrigerator, but the refrigerator is braced up against something, so she’s basically got a safe space but she can’t get out of it,” Yates said.
The man was taken to Washington Hospital.
The building has been under construction and was to become a coffee shop, Channel 11’s Cara Sapida reported. Officials said crews have to stabilize the building before going in to rescue the woman.
Crews evacuated the building at about 2 p.m. but resumed rescue efforts a short time later using a crane and baskets.
The American Red Cross said assistance is being provided to nine people who were displaced by the collapse.
BUILDING OWNER CITED:
The owner of the building that collapsed was cited in March. According to the citation, the owner failed to replace a failing wall that was cracked and not structurally sound.
Despite the citation, the owner, Mark Russo, told Channel 11’s Aaron Martin that the property is in compliance.
“I'm in compliance. I had people working to deal with issues,” Russo said. “I never thought something like this would happen.”
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