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Man confirmed dead after roof collapses at former Kmart building

BC ambulance more workersA worker helping with the demolition of the old Kmart building in Brigham City was killed Tuesday afternoon when the  roof  prematurely collapsed.

Dale Smith, information officer with Brigham City Emergency Services, said the accident occurred at about 3 p.m.  The victim was located under heavy debris inside the building about 4:45.

The victim had been on the roof with three other men working for a subcontractor of Reynolds Excavation, the company  contracted to handle the building demolition, but he  had left prior to the collapse.  When his fellow workers discovered him missing, Brigham City fire department was called in.  They were joined by crews from Honeyville, Corinne and Willard, as well as Box Elder County Search and Rescue teams.  Smith said a K-9 unit was also dispatched at the beginning of the search, but was unsuccessful in finding the missing man.

Because of the hazardous conditions inside the building, cribbing was used to hold up areas of the building while crews looked for the victim.  “We had to be very careful because we didn’t know how stable it was in there,” Smith said.

The investigation into the death  is continuing, Smith added, including finding out why the man was inside the structure.  Crews has been taking down the outside walls on the south end of the building earlier in the day and that may have compromised the overhead joists.  Smith said there was a good deal of snow on the roof, as well.

Tom Lee, dean of  Utah State University – Brigham City, extended his sympathy to the family of the man who lost his life so tragically.  Kmart is being torn down to make way for an adminstration building for USU-BC.  The campus will be moving to the Kmart site in the future.

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