HOUSTON – Recovery efforts are underway Tuesday morning to find the bodies of three construction workers who were killed when 13 floors of concrete stairs collapsed. The accident happened during construction on the new headquarters for Marathon Oil in west Houston.
Assistant Fire Chief Ruy Lozano of the Houston Fire Department said parts of the stairwell remain in place but are not properly secured, which poses a danger to first responders. So, firefighters and engineers are taking their time to assess the stability of the stairwell.
However, Lozano said his team already has a plan of attack. They’re going to cut holes through the structures concrete roof. Then a crane is going to remove unstable concrete planks through the roof.
“We have to remove those one by one in order to get to the ground floor where the debris field and the bodies are currently located,” said Lozano.
Lozano said once crew members gain access to the ground floor, they will reassess the situation and determine how to best remove the debris and the three bodies of the deceased.
“If it takes until tomorrow or the next day, we are going to take our time, we are in no rush. This is not a lifesaving event, this is now a body recovery. There is no reason to put the lives of firefighters or technical engineers in danger,” said Lozano.