A parking garage in Irving collapsed late Tuesday morning, July 31st.
At 11:27 AM, a portion of the upper level of the parking garage at The Atrium, located at the 4500 block of Fuller Drive in Irving, suddenly collapsed. About 21 vehicles were crushed or otherwise destroyed, but no injuries have been reported. According to the Irving Fire Department, the collapse was “spontaneous” and no specific cause for the collapse has been confirmed.
Later that same day, at around 4:30 PM, a second portion of the parking garage collapsed as well. No injuries were reported in the second collapse.
Jack Taylor, assistant chief of operations for the Irving Fire Department, said the fire crew’s main challenge was the possibility of a second collapse, and the team had to proceed cautiously to confirm there were no victims in the collapse.
“Initially, when the Irving Fire Rescue Team got here, they did a quick assessment of the [vehicles] they could visually assess through the windows, and they cleared primary that we had no victims,” Taylor said. “The problem was we had a lot vehicles, about 5 to 10, that were buried under heavy debris. And then we have the potential for a secondary collapse, which was our main concern. And so, it wasn’t safe to send other crews in there and start using jackhammers and tearing the concrete up because the vibration. So we got a request for the K9 unit, and Carrollton Fire Rescue and Dallas Fire Rescue each sent a K9, and both of them have cleared the scene as far as we don’t have any victims, even in the collapsed zone. So now we can be more methodical about the removal of that debris.”
There is no timeframe as of yet as to when the damaged cars will be released, and Taylor said the area has been secured in order to keep the public from coming in. Those who were parked furthest away from the collapse were able to retrieve their vehicles on Tuesday, but after the second collapse, no one else will be allowed in the garage until further notice.
Taylor said this was the first time he had seen a parking garage suddenly collapse for seeming no apparent reason.
“This is the first [spontaneous collapse] that I can recall,” Taylor said. “That’s one thing unique and one thing we love about our job is that a lot of what we do is the same – we train, we do all these things, -but you never know from day to day what we’re going to see that we’ve never seen before. And this is something I’ve never seen before. And fortunately for us, it caught at a perfect time when there was no one in the area.”
Rambler Newspapers will have more on this story as details become available.