HOUSTON – Recovery efforts have begun at the west Houston construction site where three workers were killed in a stairwell collapse Monday.
Houston Fire Department Rescue Teams, two structural engineers and 60 contracting employees are assisting with recovery efforts at Marathon Oil’s new headquarters off Town and Country Blvd, according to officials.
Firefighters said the collapse was isolated to one interior stairwell and the structural integrity of the building remains intact. Since the safety of the rescue crew is the main priority, HFD said there is no estimated time of when they’ll recover the bodies of the three construction workers trapped underneath the concrete debris.
HFD said they plan to put a hole in the roof of the building to allow a crane to grab the remaining staircase concrete planks. Once all the planks are removed, they’ll work to remove the debris and then the bodies.
Karla Valderas, the wife of one of the victims, said she’s still in shock her husband hasn’t returned home from work. Valderas identified him as 29-year-old Alexander Grandas. She said she doesn’t know what she and their three children will do without Grandas. Valderas said she has not told their children, who kept asking when their father will return home from work.
Miguel Ramirez is Grandas' best friend. Ramirez stopped by the construction site Tuesday to see the damage for himself. He said it’s hard to fathom that his friend is still trapped inside the building. Ramirez said he last saw his close friend Sunday night when Grandas came over.
The identities of the two remaining victims have not been released.